WSG writes to QLDC Mayor and Councillors re tourism report

This afternoon, we wrote to Mayor Boult and all QLDC Councillors, copying Community Board members, ensuring that they understand that Simon Upton’s report on the impact of tourism, released earlier this week, reflects many of the key concerns our members have been raising in relation to Wanaka Airport for many months. The letter is in full below.

Friday 20th December 2019

Dear Mayor Boult and Councillors

Wānaka Airport – giving full consideration to the impact of tourism

By now, many of you will be aware of the report (“Pristine, popular … imperilled? The environmental consequences of projected tourism growth”) published by Simon Upton, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, on Wednesday.  There has been substantial coverage about the report in national and international media, and plenty of discussion as you would expect on social channels.

Given that it is a 184 page report and we’re all in the final push to the holidays, we would not expect you to have already read it cover to cover.  If you haven’t yet downloaded it, you can do so from here:

This letter does not seek a formal reply on behalf of the Council or from any of you individually, much less from lawyers on behalf of the Council. We merely seek to bring to the attention to every one of this community’s representatives the clear, unequivocal, authoritative and independent endorsement of one of the key pillars that we and our thousands of members have been demanding should have been considered, but clearly was not, in any decisions to hand over our airport to QAC, which clearly intends to significantly expand Wānaka Airport.  Given that the planned airport expansion serves primarily to facilitate the projected millions of increased visitor numbers to the region, the Commissioner’s report is both timely and on topic.

On behalf of all of us at WSG, best wishes for the festive season, whether you are remaining in the area or visiting family further afield.

Yours sincerely

The Committee, Wānaka Stakeholders Group Incorporated*

Cc list: Wānaka Community Board members, CEO QLDC, Chairs of each of the four Wānaka based community associations

* WSG membership as at 18:30 Monday 25/11/19 stands at 3,024 people.

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