‘Satel­lite town’ 100km from QT

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - DASHA KUPRIENKO

Work­ers forced out of Queen­stown by un­af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tion are set­ting up home in Lums­den, about 100 kilo­me­tres south of the re­sort town.

Builder Glenn Duthie is one of a grow­ing num­ber of com­muters in the ru­ral town and said he had no de­sire to leave. ‘‘It’s be­com­ing a satel­lite town for Queen­stown,’’ he said.

He trav­elled about 200km a day on week­days, as Queen­stown had a ‘‘crazy’’ amount of build­ing work.

‘‘Builders are in high de­mand and are re­ceiv­ing pretty good hourly rates. There’s truck loads of work [in Queen­stown],’’ he said.

Duthie’s hourly rate rose by $7 in four years of work­ing for the same com­pany in Queen­stown and was higher than in South­land.

In Lums­den for 10 years, Duthie said the South­land town was affordable and had all nec­es­sary ser­vices.

‘‘Young peo­ple who want to play and party – it does not work for them but for young fam­i­lies you can’t beat Lums­den.’’

While it takes Duthie an hour to travel to work at Jacks Point, he says some of his col­leagues take longer to get home to Ar­row­town.

‘‘Peo­ple spend that long get­ting from one side of Queen­stown to an­other, de­pend­ing on what’s hap­pen­ing with the bridge [Kawa­rau Falls Bridge].’’

When he moved 10 years ago he did not see as many peo­ple com­mut­ing for work to Queen­stown.

‘‘We cer­tainly no­ticed the in­crease in de­mand. There’s prob­a­bly just a cou­ple of prop­er­ties for sale at the mo­ment.’’

Of­fice worker Anna High­field and her hus­band also live in Lums­den and have been com­mut­ing daily to Queen­stown for over 10 years.

‘‘We can af­ford to buy some­thing here be­cause in Queen­stown it’s ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to even hire a unit,’’ she said.

High­field knew of oth­ers who com­muted and car pooled for work.

‘‘There’s [Duthie] and two other builders who work in Queen­stown that I know of.’’

The trip to work got ‘‘a bit tricky’’ with more tourists driv­ing in the area, High­field said.

Builder Ali MacGre­gor, of Athol, com­muted 75km to work at Jack’s Point. He earned more money work­ing in Queen­stown than he would else­where in South­land.

MacGre­gor pre­ferred life­style and af­ford­abil­ity.

Athol’s

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