Mayor Boult writes to WSG in response to “elephants” letter
On the 15th of August, WSG wrote a detailed letter to the Mayor, asking for answers around six core areas of concern, as well as a list of 20 specific questions or concerns. This is the Mayor’s response, received today.
19 August 2019
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
Thank you for your further correspondence on behalf of your members. I have never found it constructive or helpful to engage with any group or individual via the media. I think it more productive to engage directly, and that offer is always on the table.
You raise a multitude of matters. Some of the issues will need to be considered as part of the assessments and some are matters for QAC to address. You and your group have put a lot of thought into this and the corresponding letter will be useful for the independent professionals, once they are engaged through a request for proposal process. I don’t think either Council or your group are in a position to prescribe the process, something we will be advised on.
While I respect that your group is dedicating time and energy to represent an important voice for your supporters in Wanaka, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that good governance in Local Government means Council also needs to be cognisant of the fact that there are other less vocal voices and views in the community (many who have approached me directly), and these are equally as relevant. We also have a responsibility to invest wisely for future generations and to ensure the sustainability of our environment. Council is acutely aware of the balancing exercise it needs to achieve in regard to both. Growth is challenging for everybody. Whether that is as a result of natural growth, retiree growth, migration growth, or tourism growth. It will be important to ascertain if the concerns and in some cases perceptions held about growth relate to growth itself or the ability of infrastructure to enable good growth.
The newly announced NPS on Urban Development puts growth management across this district squarely on the Government’s agenda and Council is a key partner in this national discussion. The work we are about to undertake will be carried into our Spatial Planning which will be formally consulted on in the New Year.
Once again, as we move forward, we continue to invite the WSG and the wider community to engage in the discussion openly so that we achieve an outcome that supports a long term direction, and continues to protect and enhance the broad well-being of our district.
Jim Boult ONZM
[Update 21/08/19] You can see our reply to this letter here.