Hawea Community Association chairwoman Cherilyn Walthew is concerned the local community faces being “locked out of the conversation” about the Hawea spatial plan.
A facilitated workshop on the plan was hosted by the community association and the Queenstown Lakes District Council on Monday.
About 20 people from the community attended.
Ms Walthew believed the relatively low attendance was because local people did not think they had the ability to influence decisions.
Ms Walthew recognised the community had to ‘‘take responsibility for showing up and having an input’’ but thought people were “disenfranchised with the process”.
She thought the reason for this was a perception that input from the community in recent times had not made a difference to the outcome.
An example was the chlorination of the water supply despite opposition from locals, Ms Walthew said.
‘‘There is a bit of angst in the community that they are not being listened to.’’
Ms Walthew encouraged people to ‘‘be very vocal’’ about deciding what they wanted.
Hawea wanted to be recognised as an ‘‘individual town in its own right’’, not as a suburb of Wanaka.
The local community was not against growth but did want to have some control to ensure infrastructure kept up.
‘‘When we talk about infrastructure we are talking about real basic stuff, like toilets that flush that then don’t end up in the river.’’
Road safety was another concern.
‘‘If you are going to put more and more development out this way, you need to improve that highway.’’
The spatial plan looked 30 years ahead, and now was a key time to contribute to what future development looked like.
‘‘This is why we need the community to actually turn out and talk to us about what they want,’’ Ms Walthew said.