Good news ahead on infrastructure
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.