Wide range of complaints made to Lakes Environmental
Sandwich boards, people milling about on footpaths, an abusive busker and the smell of roasting coffee get right up your nose, according to official information from the council. The Mirror was given a breakdown of all complaints to Lakes Environmental – now in-house after the Queenstown Lakes District Council restructuring – between August last year and the end of July. Of almost 400 complaints, many related to the vexed issue of signs and hoardings in the streets, noise, rubbish, fire hazards and annoying buskers. A particularly annoying busker was moved on twice after complaints about the din outside Vodafone and the Beach St casino. On October 31 last year someone roasting coffee in Luna Pl was ‘‘sorted out’’ according to the complaints record while an abusive busker was given a verbal warning and told a compliance officer it wouldn’t happen again. Then, on January 24, the busker was emailed after an another allegation that he was abusive to passersby in Queenstown CBD. Five days later, there were two more complaints and the busker was issued with a final warning and his permit was cancelled. Noisy bars were common complaints too and in summer, for example, Buffalo’s and Harry’s Pool Bar in Queenstown, Opium and the Bullock bar in Wanaka were all the subject of complaints. Lakeside Estate residents complained about the noise from planes flying over the estate. Multiple complaints of low-flying NZone planes, which the company denied, were investigated but there was not enough evidence for further action. Of the outstanding complaints, an investigation continued into a house in Kingston over resource consent and distance from a boundary. Staff also contacted a company about stickers advertising an adult website but the firm, NZPleasure.com, claimed the it by the Mirror last year but the council wanted to charge for the information. A complaint was lodged with the Office of the Ombudsman but after the council’s organisational review, the authority decided it was happy to provide the information free.