About us

  • We are a not-for-profit, community group called Wānaka Stakeholders Group Incorporated
  • We are made up of hundreds of Upper Clutha locals, rate payers, business owners and families who love and care about the future of Wānaka, and many who visit Wānaka frequently but do not live here.
  • We are parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles who are concerned about the impact the decisions made today will have on our children in the future.
  • We are the collective voice of a very large part of the Upper Clutha community, and those who cherish Wānaka and want it to retain its special character.
  • Our main concern is that the people of Upper Clutha should be fully informed about the Wānaka Airport proposals, their likely impacts and that the people of Wanaka, Hawea and surrounding areas have a genuine say in the outcome of this discussion.

Wanaka Stakeholders Group is an incorporated society which has been formed for the benefit of all of us in the Upper Clutha. You can find out more about the current committee on this page. Whether you live in Wānaka or not, it’s easy to become a member – just click the “become a member” button on this page.

Our updated “position” on jet capable airports impacting the Upper Clutha

Our position (updated February 2021) is as follows:

  • WSG’s primary concern is the failure by QLDC to consult – properly and lawfully – about the future of Wanaka Airport and Project Pure.
  • Our members are concerned about a range of issues, with democratic process, climate change and maintaining the character of our environment at the top of the list.
  • Despite two years of raising these issues and a challenge in the High Court, QLDC has continued to show no interest in genuine community consultation or open dialogue. Even the $205,000 report QLDC has commissioned about airports has never been discussed by the full Council.
  • Now two years on, a combination of the impacts of Covid-19, intensified national and international focus on climate change and the environment, and the proposal by Christchurch International Airport Ltd to build a big international airport at Tarras, brings these issues even more sharply into view.
  • 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.
  • How can any responsible government – national or local – declare a climate emergency and then allow or actively pursue the development of further airports in NZ, thereby opening the door to mass tourism? This will inevitably generate increased carbon emissions from both international and domestic flights, as well as from transport and other infrastructure required to support such growth.
  • In the same way that leadership from Central Government was required to successfully manage Covid, bold leadership will be required from the Government to ensure that sound decisions are made around airport development, national infrastructure and controls on inbound tourism.

For further details on our position (on things such as tourism, growth, scheduled airline services into Wānaka Airport see “What We Stand For” below, which has not changed since our incorporation.

What do we stand for?

Our position (above) is clear, but this does not mean we are anti-business, anti-growth or anti-aviation. Here’s a further explanation of what we stand for, and note that these words have not changed in over two years.

  • WSG supports the existing focus on general aviation activities and welcome the return of scheduled turbo prop services to Wanaka.
  • WSG opposes the development of Wanaka Airport for scheduled jet services.
  • WSG is concerned about over-tourism and the adverse impact on the Upper Clutha communities and our environment.
  • WSG supports increasing air traffic to existing regional airports in preference to developing Wanaka for jet services.
  • WSG believes that the Queenstown Airport Corporation needs to demonstrate that it has fully considered the environmental impact of an airport redevelopment at Wanaka and demonstrate that it can meet New Zealand tourism sustainability commitment.
  • From all of our discussions and meetings in the Upper Clutha area to date, WSG is confident that the majority of people in the Upper Clutha strongly oppose the development of Wanaka Airport as currently planned by QAC.

On this page you’ll find a list of the minimum set of solutions we are seeking to this issue.

Our Committee Members and Core Team are all volunteers.

We understand that people might get emotional about the issues surrounding the redevelopment of Wanaka Airport. We are determined to focus 100% on facts and issues.

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