Otago Daily Times

QLDC ignoring Hawea issues, residents say

- KERRIE WATERWORTH kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz

HAWEA residents have accused the Queenstown Lakes District Council of ‘‘ignoring’’ the town’s infrastruc­ture issues.

Those issues include the Southern District Health Board’s recommenda­tion in 2014 for a second dam for drinking water, the Hawea wastewater treatment plant being noncomplia­nt since 2017, a lack of public transport and a roading network that included two one lane bridges.

More than 60 people attended a meeting of the Hawea Community Associatio­n last Saturday at the Hawea Community Centre and many others by Zoom.

Committee member Rob White was in tears when he described the difficulti­es he had experience­d representi­ng the associatio­n at the council’s annual plan hearings last May.

‘‘The planners and the council said there are no infrastruc­ture issues [in Hawea], and unfortunat­ely as it is just Joe Blow me, I don’t rank anywhere compared to an expert, so when an expert says there are no problems they get believed, I don’t.’’

Chairwoman Cherilyn Walthew described it as ‘‘an emotional roller coaster because you really are up against it. You are David and Goliath on this.’’

When a resident at the meeting suggested the associatio­n should become ‘‘more politicall­y active’’, committee member John Langley responded.

‘‘To those who are new to town, allow me to be very clear that the HCA was very politicall­y active in opposing the Special Housing Area.’’

In April last year, the council granted Universal Developmen­ts consent to develop 465 residentia­l allotments as part of a Special Housing Area outside the agreed urban boundary.

‘‘We campaigned very strongly, lobbied councillor­s, a busload from here [Hawea] went to the council meeting, we drove to the minister, and we got legal opinions which supported our submission­s,’’ he said.

Hawea Flat St Ninian’s Church minister Aaron Johnstone said he had ‘‘benefited’’ from being able to move into one of the new subdivisio­ns in Hawea and asked if it would be better to accept growth was going to happen.

‘‘We have an opportunit­y to encourage it to happen in a positive way,’’ he said.

Mr Langley said the HCA’s position was there was sufficient space for infilling within the current zoning north of Cemetery Rd.

‘‘We were against it officially and are still against the SHA being where it is, end of story,’’ he said.

An overwhelmi­ng majority of those attending the meeting voted for the council to ‘‘genuinely consult’’ with the HCA, specifical­ly on the immediate roading and waste water issues.

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