Survey indicates opposition to Tarras Airport [Wanaka App, 12/02/21]

A survey conducted by the Wanaka Stakeholders Group (WSG) membership, which was also open to the general public, has found that 74 percent of respondents oppose a new international airport planned for Tarras.

The main concern among the 1,200 survey respondents was the environmental impacts of an airport, WSG said.

The survey also found that people who responded were very concerned about the impacts on quality of life and road safety, and WSG said nearly all respondents sought far greater consultation and involvement in airport decisions in the region.

The survey included responses from 366 businesspeople in the district, and residents from the Upper Clutha settlements, plus Tarras and the surrounding area. The survey was an opt-in survey and not a representative sample of the population, but the WSG said it was representative of all adult age groups.

WSG chair Michael Ross said the results of the survey were “clear and emphatic”. 

WSG chair Michael Ross 

He called for “bold leadership” from central government to ensure sound decisions are made around airport development, national infrastructure and controls on inbound tourism.

“The time has long since passed when the Upper Clutha community will sit back and allow airport companies to determine the future of our local infrastructure and environment, aided and actively supported by councils that place commercial interests above community interests, play down community concerns and even blatantly ignore them,” he said. 

The WSG told its members this week the group’s primary focus remains “the failure by QLDC [Queenstown Lakes District Council] to consult – properly and lawfully – about the future of Wanaka Airport and Project Pure”.

The group continues to await the judge’s decisions from a five day judicial review held in the High Court in Queenstown on this issue late last year.

Read this on the Wanaka App website here.

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