No doubt about Wanaka growing
But watch out when ultra fast broadband comes in – it will really escalate
don’t envy our councillors when they have to make decisions about major infrastructure projects. They have to take many things into consideration like population growth, location and cost. Wanaka is once again debating the location and cost of a new sports facility for our town. A couple of years ago the decision was made to build the facility on land at Three Parks, not on the Showgrounds downtown as some had been pushing for. New councillor Callum McLeod based his election campaign around this issue saying we should down-spec the design and build it downtown. My big issue with this is that the population on this side of the hill has basically doubled in the 10 years I’ve lived here to around 9000 people. Extrapolating this out we could possibly be looking at 18,000 people by 2023 and 36,000 by 2033. If you think that won’t happen then watch this space, especially if we win the Gigatown competition. Wanaka has always been a desirable place to live. The only thing that has held it back has been the lack of good paying jobs. Ultra fast broadband will give us a huge opportunity to change that so hang onto your hats. There are those who don’t want Wanaka to change but unless you make it a gated community you won’t stop the growth. Councillors are never going to get it 100 per cent right. However, they are entrusted to make bold, forward looking decision. Already the Lake Wanaka Centre is not big enough for many events and the Anderson Heights retail/ light industrial area is full. And remember we helped pay for the Queenstown Events Centre and their ratepayers will be helping pay for ours so let’s get the best we can on a site which has the best chance of still being viable in 20 to 30 years’ time. ◗ Ed Taylor is general manager of Warbirds Over Wanaka and reckons Wanaka is the best place in the world to live.