Gigatown idea will choke Wanaka
The busy new year holiday period provides us with a preview of a future; one of being stuck at each intersection and general overcrowding. That is not what we find attractive.
When this becomes an everyday occurrence, residents will lose the enjoyment of living here. First the town centre and lakefront will choke, but then all amenities and activities will become dysfunctional.
Our present healthy growth is with folk who love the area for what it is now. It is therefore illogical to embark on a Gigatown campaign that will attract a crowd who are just seeking super-fast internet.
Proponents for Gigatown expect and want growth from winning.
We suffer from ridiculous rules that allow development in the business zone without any form of contributions for car parking.
They have proclaimed that Wanaka has the necessary types of land to accommodate it.
Without acknowledging the effects of growth and then taking bold steps to manage it, the Wanaka we love will soon be spoilt forever.
Gigatown USA is Chattanooga. This city was suffering from depopulation. Its town centre was dying, crime and pollution increasing.
For useful comparisons, Wanaka should be looking to communities like Boulder, Colorado, where developments are controlled and levied so that funds become available for the town to acquire strategic land for transport hubs, walkways and cycle paths.
Our council refuses to seriously manage growth. We suffer from ridiculous rules that allow development in the business zone without any form of contributions for car parking; and now have at least one councillor lobbying for funds to promote the Gigatown push.
These are the policies and actions for stimulating a town in decline— totally inappropriate for our appealing town.
Support for Gigatown is being garnered by promoting the belief that all will benefit. Yeah right.
To generate such activity in the real estate industry they use the phrase ‘‘Feed the greed’’.
Any sign of disagreement is being intimidated into silence.
Wanaka has unique work and lifestyle options within a beautiful environment. This should be recognised, utilised, promoted and protected.
Unfortunately the social and environmental cost of providing all types of jobs to all sorts is too high. Your children, and their children, will respect you more if you leave them a functional town and a protected environment. ◗ Noel Williams moved to Wanaka in 1983 as a ski instructor. He has spent the last 20 years in the real estate industry.