Our community is struggling with our current rate of growth. Adding a busy airport with its associated traffic, bus or rental car movements and downstream effects on accommodation demand, worker housing and retail development will have a massive impact on an already strained Wanaka infrastructure. The $300m to $400m that the QAC is planning to spend on Wanaka Airport could much better be spent on upgrading our existing roading, waste-water, parking, school and medical infrastructure.
- There is clear evidence that our infrastructure is already at breaking point.
- The QLDC sought a mandate from the ratepayers to introduce a visitor levy, which 82% supported, because they can see that tourism is overwhelming our existing infrastructure. The stark contradiction is council on the one hand saying we need to levy tourists to raise more money to pay for the impacts of tourism on infrastructure – still a fairly pathetic $32M or so a year – while also pursuing a policy of building a second airport so they can boost visitor numbers by 200-300%.
- There do not appear to have been any detailed studies to consider the significant infrastructure requirements which this airport development would create for our community.
- We haven’t heard anyone from council address fundamental questions about what happens to Project Pure at Wanaka Airport, what would happen to Hawea’s sewage which is supposed to be piped to Project Pure, how a major traffic increase will be funnelled out of Wanaka eg via the Crown Range, the Albert Town Bridge and the Red Bridge – all choke points, addressing all these will costs tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Then there are the impacts of water and stormwater management – all with huge costs implications.