Bus owner seeks Glenorchy park spot

Con­tro­ver­sial camp­ground devel­op­ment plans divide town

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By JOHN EDENS

Glenorchy’s Daphne Reynolds, 69, likes the quiet life.

The re­tiree, orig­i­nally from Southamp­ton in Eng­land, moved to New Zealand more than 30 years ago and has lived in Glenorchy at the north­ern end of Lake Wakatipu for eight years.

Home is a con­verted 1952 Ley­land house bus, with a kitch­enette, log burner bed­room and two dogs, Lucy and Monty.

She lived in the old Glenorchy camp­ground be­fore it closed then moved on to a pri­vate prop­erty and for the past two months she has rented a space off sec­tion own­ers in the town, 46km from Queen­stown.

Her cur­rent park­ing space is un­avail­able from this week­end and Reynolds, who lives on a pen­sion and said she can­not af­ford to buy prop­erty, does not know where she is go­ing to park. She wants to stay in Glenorchy.

The town is be­ing con­fronted by a raft of changes. Dozens of sub­mis­sions on con­tro­ver­sial plans to re­vamp the camp­ground have been lodged, amid a rift be­tween lo­cals and the wealthy Amer­i­can phi­lan­thropists who en­vis­age a high-end sus­tain­able re­de­vel­op­ment.

The di­lap­i­dated camp­ground has been cleared for the pro­posed Camp Glenorchy project by Paul and Debbi Brain­erd.

Reynolds, who bat­tled can­cer in the last two years and can no longer work, re­lies on her su­per­an­nu­a­tion of just a few hun­dred dol­lars a fort­night. She is one of just a few peo­ple who live in house buses in Wakatipu.

‘‘[Af­ter mov­ing] I have been try­ing to look for a place ever since. I’m go­ing to have to go down to the Buck­ler Burn, park down there and make a stand,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve tried ev­ery­thing to get some­where to park and I’m will­ing to pay rent.

‘‘Peo­ple who live in buses are frowned upon but this is my home and it’s all I can af­ford. I don’t want to go [out­side Glenorchy].’’

Reynolds is not the only res­i­dent wor­ried about for­eign in­vest­ment chang­ing the town and, as some see it, the ‘‘Amer­i­can­i­sa­tion’’ of a quin­tes­sen­tial South Is­land bolt hole.

Her fam­ily is scat­tered around New Zealand and over­seas and her 1952 Ley­land is in no con­di­tion to travel more than a few kilo­me­tres.

‘‘The town is di­vided. I just do not know what to do.

‘‘I have been in New Zealand for 32 years and I’m a per­ma­nent res­i­dent. I like Glenorchy. The trou­ble is I can see it be­com­ing the same as Queen­stown and I’m happy I can en­joy it the way it is now.’’

As for the Camp Glenorchy project, in­de­pen­dent coun­cil com­mis­sion­ers will hear sub­mis­sions in the next month or so and de­cide whether or not to grant re­source con­sent.

Sup­port­ers reckon the Brain­erds’ project will rein­vig­o­rate the town but a vo­cal mi­nor­ity have ques­tioned as­pects of the re­source process, for­eign in­vest­ment, the scale of the devel­op­ment, Over­seas In­vest­ment Of­fice in­volve­ment and con­sul­ta­tion.

Daphne Reynolds at home in her 1952 Ley­land bus in Glenorchy, with Lucy, left, and Monty.

Photo: John Edens/ FAIR­FAX NZ

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