High time some ‘got off the pot’
Last century’s local councillors were generally a more colourful bunch than the current crop.
They were more outspoken and generally had a more colourful vocabulary.
A couple in particular were renowned for phrases like ‘‘ ...shit or get off the pot...’’ – which seems a timely piece of advice given the current state of proceedings with the conference centre proposals. The project is hung up on a few gnarly road blocks. Council has unduly complicated the planning process by extending it towards a general growth of the CBD; has yet to extract a firm commitment from Government for a taxpayer contribution; and failed to offer up a satisfactory formula for how individual ratepayers will contribute to the costs.
There is no clear public advocate for the project, either within or outside the council. Those who have lived here long enough will remember ‘Pool 2000’ and recall 10 years of floundering round over the gap between public expectation and council’s commitment.
Right now, though, my adage about the need to ‘get off the pot’ is reserved for two particular parties who need to move to clarify the position right now:
The developers of Remarkables Park who promised a conference facility on that site. This site is great for a transport business like mine but bad for almost every other reason. I’m strongly suspect Remarkables will use the planning process to frustrate both alternatives;
The local and regional media, who need to do a proper investigative journalism assessment of the Frankton and Man street proposals. I’d like to make a judgment about my willingness to contribute my rates based on a side-by-side evaluation of both on objective criteria like capacity, pricing, flexibility, accessibility, the plans for competing facilities in other cities, and the views of those who will bring larger conferences here. ◗ Duncan Field owns Limousine Services Queenstown, and is a past chief executive of the Queenstown Lakes District Council and an occasional consultant.