Economic plans approved
Queenstown Lakes District councillors approved a plan to invest more than $150,000 in economic development despite concerns there were no specifics about how to spend the money.
The proposal was to grant $100,000 a year to the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce and $50,000 to Study Queenstown. It also sought the creation of a full time economic development staff member within the council.
Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ann Lockhart said the chamber had been fulfilling an economic development role, including working with council on a visi- tor levy, labour force project and welcoming delegations of investors.
‘‘We’ve been the unofficial front of economic development.’’
The first use of the money would be to develop an integrated and co-ordinated business development plan for the whole of the district, she said. The chamber was yet to work with the council on a Memorandum of Understanding.
Councillor Calum Macleod said when the Wanaka Chamber of Commerce sought and was approved $100,000 annual funding it already had a plan in place. Cr Ella Lawton said she was uncomfortable with the proposal: ‘‘Without a plan, how can we make a decision?’’
Mayor Jim Boult said the plan was an interim step.