Good news ahead on in­fra­struc­ture

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - JIM BOULT

Last week I flew back into Queen­stown air­port from a trip to Christchurch, ar­riv­ing midafter­noon. Sadly it took me al­most as long as the flight from Christchurch to find my way through the Frank­ton traf­fic and travel to coun­cil of­fices in town. This sit­u­a­tion is un­ten­able. It is the re­sult of a lack of plan­ning to ad­dress what should have been ap­par­ent, that is, our district is grow­ing rapidly and we need to be ahead of the growth curve in de­vel­op­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

There is good news on the hori­zon how­ever, and res­i­dents can ex­pect to see sig­nif­i­cant progress in the de­vel­op­ment of our road­ing in­fra­struc­ture in

2017. Be­tween the com­mence­ment of the East­ern Ac­cess Road (Hawthorn Drive), the com­ple­tion of the two lane Kawa­rau Fall Bridge, and the be­gin­ning of stage one of work at the BP Round­about, the rub­ber is start­ing to meet the road in this re­gard.

The need to pro­vide af­ford­able hous­ing for the or­di­nary folk within our district is an­other is­sue that needs ur­gent at­ten­tion. The av­er­age house price in Queen­stown is now sit­ting over $1 mil­lion. This sim­ply isn’t sus­tain­able, and if we want to con­tinue to have the en­er­getic com­mu­nity our district is fa­mous for, we need to be able to pro­vide hous­ing for fam­i­lies and young peo­ple. With this in mind I have launched a May­oral Task­force, un­der the chair­man­ship of John MacDon­ald, to in­ves­ti­gate ways to ad­dress this.

As part my elec­tion cam­paign I pub­li­cised a 100 day plan out­lin­ing what I would ad­dress if elected. I’m pleased to see that the new coun­cil has taken the big is­sues our district is fac­ing head on, and we are mak­ing sub­stan­tial progress on all of the ma­jor is­sues I out­lined as part of my may­oral cam­paign. Much of this progress will not be im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent, but rest as­sured your elected mem­bers and coun­cil staff are work­ing tire­lessly to bring about im­por­tant changes across the board.

I re­cently had the plea­sure of of­fi­ci­at­ing at my first New Zealand ci­ti­zen­ship cer­e­mony. This was an emo­tional and en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence and re­ally hit home how lucky we are to be able to call this coun­try and our re­gion home. It’s im­por­tant to ap­pre­ci­ate that our so­ci­ety is a di­verse one that is con­stantly evolv­ing, and it was fan­tas­tic to see the joy in the faces of our new­est Ki­wis.

With the fes­tive sea­son all but upon us I sin­cerely wish you all the best as you cel­e­brate with fam­ily and friends. Our neck of the woods can get a touch crazy dur­ing this pe­riod and I urge you all to ex­er­cise an equal mea­sure of pa­tience and lo­cal good hu­mour as you in­ter­act with the many visi­tors we’re ex­pect­ing.

I hope you all have a mar­vel­lously happy Christ­mas and an equally splen­did New

Year, and I wish you all the best for an­other suc­cess­ful year in 2017.

Jim Boult is the mayor of Queen­stown Lakes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.