No community consultation

The Upper Clutha community is not being properly consulted on the significant development of a ‘jet capable’ Wanaka Airport.

  • Our repeated requests to have Council engage with the Upper Clutha Community on the potential future changes to the Wanaka Airport have been declined, as was our request to have the matter placed on the Wanaka Community Board meeting agenda (WCB is governed by Council also).
  • The lack of community involvement stands in stark contrast to the assurances by Council back in 2016 that the Wanaka community would have input on the development of Wanaka Airport.
  • Through the Statement of Intent, and the terms of the lease – terms which are held to be privileged hence unknown to those who are supposed to have their right to a say in Wanaka Airport protected by the lease!

They are moving fast, consulting with a select few; much is happening behind the scenes without proper community consultation or support. QAC is planning to spend $300-400 developing Wanaka Airport, and to recoup that investment and provide profits to their shareholders they’ll need to rapidly grow the traffic to Queenstown levels – eg currently 21000 scheduled flights a year.

Why won’t QAC consult the community?

QAC has shown a clear intention to push changes through with as little consultation as possible

  • QAC CEO has indicated that regardless of the community concerns for growth – they intend to build to accommodate forecast demand.
  • QAC has delivered only selective consultation to date.
  • What little ‘consultation ‘ that has been done is characterised by limited access, specifically targeted audiences, for example existing airport users, loaded and confounding questions, and a lack of transparency.
  • Each request for information from QAC has been refused 
    • Even Councillors have had their requests for information declined.
  • QAC is a commercial enterprise which is primarily driven by growth and is currently under no obligation to fully disclose their current or future growth plans.

What is the Council doing about it?

QLDC is allowing this to happen without properly consulting you.

  • QLDC owns 75.01% of QAC, and the rest is owned by Auckland Airport.
  • There are not sufficient checks and balances in place, and so we are not being consulted about key decisions.
  • In 2017 QLDC signed over the lease of Wanaka Airport to QAC for 100 years. At the time the expectation was for a 30 year lease.   There was no prior notification about this, or community consultation. Even many businesses said they didn’t have enough information to support this idea. 
  • QLDC agreed to grant the lease in April 2017, the terms of the 100 year lease were finalised in March 2018 and the lease became effective from 1st April 2018
  • QLDC is not sharing the terms of this lease with anyone.
  • Since the lease has been signed, numerous further decisions have been made without proper consultation with the Upper Clutha Community.

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