Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult is keen to continue working for the district, confirming last week that he would seek another term.
Issues he would continue to pay attention to included development at Wanaka Airport.
It was “signalled very clearly” when the council gave a long-term lease to Queenstown Airport Corporation that there was an intention to restart commercial services at Wanaka Airport, he said.
“Contrary to the view of some, we are looking to service the roughly 400,000 passenger movements that are Wanaka-based, either residents or visitors that currently go through Queenstown airport.”
When Air New Zealand pulled its last service from Christchurch to Wanaka in 2013, Mr Boult said he was approached by several businesspeople from Wanaka to ask for his help to encourage Air New Zealand to reinstate the service.
“So to an extent, that is what is now planned.”
He was critical of the level of maternity services in the region.
“We used to have perfectly adequate maternity services in the district – I don’t understand why we don’t now.”
Mr Boult said he intended to ask the Southern District Health Board what its intentions were.
Housing affordability for both permanent residents and itinerant workers were areas where there was more work to be done.
A pilot Secure Home scheme, in which people bought properties through a 99-year land lease arrangement – with the trust retaining ownership of the land in perpetuity – was developed by the Mayoral Housing Affordability Taskforce.
This had resulted in six homes being built in Queenstown, and Mr Boult hoped to roll out the scheme to other parts of the Upper Clutha.
Accommodation for itinerant workers was something that he was “continuing to monitor”.
Other challenges in Wanaka included “scoping out” the arts and cultural requirements of the region.
“I wouldn’t say we are in a cultural desert, but it is pretty dry out there.”
Surveys and meetings being conducted by the Three Lakes Cultural Trust was “very useful work” that would help inform the region’s first cultural master plan, he said.
“We need to do more, both for performing and visual arts.”
Members of the Queenstown Lakes District Council are beginning to make their plans known.
Crs Craig Ferguson, Quentin Smith, Val Miller, Penny Clark and John MacDonald have all confirmed they will be standing again for council.
Wanaka Community Board member Ruth Harrison and Arrowtown ward councillor Scott Stevens said they would not be seeking re-election this term, and Wanaka ward councillor Ross McRobie announced last February he also would not be seeking re-election, as he was relocating to Otematata, where he would stand for the Waitaki District Council.
Wakatipu ward councillor Alexa Forbes will also not be standing for re-election for the Queenstown Lakes District Council, announcing this week she will instead stand for election to the Otago Regional Council.
Wanaka’s Ed Taylor said he would be announcing his intentions early next month, deputy mayor Calum MacLeod said he would make a decision within the next couple of weeks, and Cr Tony Hill said he would not make a decision on whether to stand again until nominations opened on July 19.
Kinloch Lodge owner John Glover, who stood unsuccessfully in 2013, has announced he will stand again.
Other councillors and community board members contacted by The News have not yet made their electoral intentions known.
– Additional reporting Otago Daily Times