7 key reasons

We’ve summarised 7 key reasons why Wanaka does not need and should not accept a jet-capable airport. There are various versions of this, depending on the level of detail you want.

Below are the seven reasons, in just a couple of words. Beneath that version is one which is a little more detailed. For those seeking deep levels of detail, we have a more detailed document online, complete with links to relevant evidence, information, research and media reports.


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The 7 key reasons in just a few words.

  1. Environmental impact.
  2. Overtourism.
  3. Poor local democracy.
  4. Infrastructure.
  5. We don’t need it.
  6. It has to be big.
  7. Not future fit.

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The 7 key reasons in a little more detail.

If you want full detail, complete with background facts and links to more information, see the full version here. Otherwise, the version below is a quick and easy read.

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#1 – It would have an unacceptable impact on the environment

  • There’s a climate emergency at QLDC.
  • There are well documented concerns about the impact of tourism on the environment.
  • Are we really going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, as suggested by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton?
  • Even worse: killing “all the geese.”
  • If you need more detail, go to the very detailed version of this.

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#2 – It puts us at real risk of overtourism.

  • Tourists are prepared to fly in, and then drive some distance to key destinations.
  • Aspen should be a lessen to us all, especially QLDC.
  • We’re already barely coping with the tourist numbers.
  • We don’t need an airport to grow tourism in the district.
  • An illogical push for unsustainable tourism numbers is against to global flow.
  • If you need more detail, go to the very detailed version of this.

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#3 – QLDC is acting undemocratically, and against our wishes.

  • There has been no real consultation, no real community involvement.
  • QAC and QLDC have no social licence/community mandate to put jets into Wanaka.
  • Residents are deeply concerned about growth, overtourism, the environment and retaining their quality of life.
  • The people of the Upper Clutha simply don’t want this.
  • These are not Wanaka’s problems to solve.
  • If you need more detail, go to the very detailed version of this.

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#4 – It will put pressure on our infrastructure, not improve it.

  • Transport infrastructure can’t cope.
  • Other infrastructure can’t cope.
  • The new runway is literally “in the poo”.
  • Giving QAC the ability to move Project Pure should have been subject to community consultation.
  • Wanaka’s infrastructure cannot sustain accelerated growth.
  • Spend money on essential infrastructure, not a second airport.
  • If you need more detail, go to the very detailed version of this.

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#5 – Wanaka and the Upper Clutha don’t actually need it.

  • No other town under 30,000 people has jets.
  • No other town or city has two airports.
  • The South Island already has three jet airports with capacity.
  • A regional service to CHC would make more sense.
  • Utilising Invercargill airport makes more sense.
  • No mountain or ski resort anywhere in the world has two Code-C jet-capable airports within 51km of each other, even though many resorts are much larger than Queenstown.
  • There is a viable alternative to jets: turbo props.
  • Nelson does really well just with turbo props, so why can’t we?
  • QLDC’s statistics and logic about “local need” are questionable.
  • Convenience for some people is not reason enough to build a jet airport.
  • Wanaka residents didn’t move here for the airport.
  • If you need more detail, go to the very detailed version of this.

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#6 – QLDC and QAC are not being transparent about what’s in store.

  • Eventually, and as soon as it can be achieved by QAC, a $400 million spend will lead to at least 1 flight every 10 minutes.
  • The claim of “a few flights a day” is disingenuous.
  • If you need more detail, go to the very detailed version of this.

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#7 – A jet airport is not a smart move for our future.

  • A jet airport, built to cater for today’s technology, is not a smart move for our future.
  • If you need more detail, go to the very detailed version of this.

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For the most detailed version – click here. This more detailed document is updated in real time.

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