Wide range of com­plaints made to Lakes En­vi­ron­men­tal

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By JOHN EDENS

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.

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