A jet airport for wanaka – delayed but not yet off the table!

[Update 12 May 2021] Today’s announcement that QLDC will not appeal the High Court judgement which found that the 100 year lease was unlawful, is welcomed by WSG. This means that any QLDC plans for Wānaka Airport will need proper and lawful consultation. But this does not mean that the airport is “off the table.”

To add your voice to those wanting proper consultation and good decision making in relation to the airport, please sign up to our membership/mailing list. And please encourage your friends to!

We have updated our positioning around key issues in light of the impacts of Covid-19 and the recent announcement about Tarras International Airport. Find out more here.

Our recent letter to the PM, ministers and councillors has received responses. All three local Wānaka Ward councillors are against further development of Wānaka Airport – see full details here.

What can you do about this?

There’s lots of information on this website – see below. But the two things you can do stop this are to consider contributing some money to our legal costs, and also sign up to be a member and receive updates. You can do both of these things from our Help Us page.

So what is happening?

[Update] In April 2021, the High Court released its decision in the judicial review we led, and found that QLDC had acted unlawfully – and the lease was overturned. Read the judgement here. This does not mean that plans to turn Wānaka Airport into a jet capable airport are over – it just means that QLDC must now consult properly and lawfully with the community.

To understand our concerns, and why we took QLDC and QAC to the High Court, read on:

A small group of executives in Auckland and Queenstown are making decisions about your children’s future. QAC has announced plans for significant development at Wanaka Airport, and they are now moving fast. They already have substantial ownership and control of Wanaka Airport, and despite current impacts on tourism and aviation due to COVID-19, they show no signs of changing their plans significantly.

The Upper Clutha community is not being properly consulted on any of this. The airport is proposed to run scheduled jet services that under the current proposed plan, by 2035 we could expect up to 2.8 million passenger movements annually at Wanaka Airport.

QAC has made it clear that it wants to build a jet airport at Wanaka Airport. We are just 2 years in to a 100 year so-called “lease”, which can also be renewed “in perpetuity”. So it is clear that the community’s wishes will be overridden some time in the future, and our only way to stop this is to get it back under community ownership and control.

Want more detail?

On this website, we have included the facts and information we have to date. Take a look at the following pages to find out more:

What will this mean for us?

The scale of development will have a massive and far reaching impact on Wanaka’s infrastructure and its desirability both as a place to live and a destination to visit. More information here.

Our community and infrastructure are under pressure now and the environment is clearly suffering from the adverse effects of recent rapid and unchecked growth. […] Recent announcements re the development of the Wanaka Airport are likely to have a significant impact on the quality of both the community space we live in and the environment.

Michael Ross, Chairperson, Wanaka Stakeholders Group

What can you do about this?

Protect Wanaka is a site set up to help you understand the issues and see how you can get involved and have your say. Don’t let QAC decide the future of your community without your input!

There are various ways in which you can take action, including contributing to the costs of our legal campaign and joining as amember. Check out the current options here.

Importantly, please take a moment to sign up to join Wanaka Stakeholders Group Incorporated, to keep informed about developments and help give us a stronger voice.

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