Wanaka Community Board report card
Wanaka’s four elected community board members have had a year in the hot seat. Mirror reporter Marjorie Cook asks how they are going.
Smiley faces. That’s the stamp Wanaka’s community board members would give themselves one year after election.
The board comprises four elected community members and three Wanaka-ward councillors.
Four of the board members are new but despite cutting their teeth of some of the most controversial town projects proposed yet: the Wanaka Lakefront Reserves Management Plan and the $13.4 million Three Parks sports facilities.
These rate-weighty items include swirling controversies over a $1million boat shed and a $11.8 million swimming pool complex.
And milling just around the corner, in no particular order, are Cardrona’s wastewater scheme, Wanaka’s town centre urban design (more is to come), the district plan review (including rural general zones), a proposed community house, and a Wanaka transportation study.
A: Happy. Although Brown says she finds accusations of predetermination ‘‘quite hard’’. When one surfaced during the October public forum she was quick to defend the board’s work.
A: ‘‘Yes. It was quite a big step that we were delegated the lakefront reserves management plan. The council could have taken control of it . . . the council could decide not to delegate anything to the board. It is a governance agreement rather than anything absolute. The staff are often wanting to go straight to the council but it is important they come to us. If there was a Wakatipu Community Board as well, I think people would then understand it better . . . I have to keep reminding people things
have to come to Wanaka.’’
A: Happy. The board is diverse but is working ‘‘extremely well’’.
A: Now understands consultation is the nature of a local government job and there has to be ‘‘one, two or even three’’ opportunities to talk about really important things, such as lakefront management and the siting of sports fields. Also accepts removing the word Queenstown is ‘‘just too hard’’. ‘‘I don’t think people will accept the name change. There may be some legal issues around that that I wasn’t aware of at the time.’’
A: Happy. ‘‘To be honest I really did have my doubts when we started, that this particular board would not get on. But they’ve totally evaporated . . . I thinkwe have the different perspectives covered very well.’’
A: ‘‘Generally speaking, I have always been an advocate of the Three Parks concept. I think that’s finally through the worst of it now. There were a few hiccoughs along the way, but you will get that with anything. I think our representatives do a fantastic job on the council. I had my doubts at the start. But they don’t ask as many silly questions as Queenstown councillors do. I’ve heard some pretty silly questions asked.’’
A: Happy. ‘‘I enjoy it. I enjoyed it last term but I think I enjoy it even more this term. It is a busier board and my partner says I ama happier person when I come out of meetings.’’
A: ‘‘It’s been a busy year, particularly because of the lakeside reserves management plan. That took up a hell of a lot of time. (Lloyd was on the hearings panel and estimated at least 40 hours, including two full days of hearings and several meetings). I didn’t dream it would take as long as it did. We were constantly in each other’s email space and on the phone . . . But there is always more that could be done.’’
Busy: Wanaka Community Board chairwoman Rachel Brown (right) with board members Ross McRobie, mayor Vanessa Van Uden, Bryan Lloyd, Calum Macleod, Ella Lawton, Mike O’Connor, and Lyal Cocks. This November 2013 photograph was taken at their first meeting after the 2013 election.