Gi­ga­town idea will choke Wanaka

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

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.

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