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A stronger connection to the water is part of stage three of the Wanaka lakefront development plan.

Wanaka Community Board chairman Barry Bruce said work which began last week to transform land from Bullock Creek to the marina would be an opportunity to get closer to nature.

‘‘This area along here is very much under-utilised.

‘‘You can walk along the top [by Lakeside Rd] but you can’t really get down near the water.’’

Once work was completed, people would be able to walk on a boardwalk along the water’s edge, he said.

The boardwalk was designed to cope with high water, would be accessible to a broad range of people and would incorporate safety features.

The ability to enjoy the lake away from Lakeside Rd would reduce extraneous traffic noise.

‘‘When you are right down at the water’s edge, it will feel like you are miles away.’’

A separate 3m-wide shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists would allow green travel options for locals.

Work on lakeside development had been progressing for several years and there had been extensive consultation with the community, Mr Bruce said.

Walking with nature . . . A concept plan for stage three of the Lake Wanaka development plan shows a boardwalk that will run along the waterfront.
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Queenstown Lakes District Council community services general manager Thunes Cloete said once finished, the ecological and accessibility improvements along the lakefront would be something Wanaka’s community could be proud of.

‘‘We consulted on a concept plan for this site in June 2019 and received overwhelming support for its direction and what stage three aims to achieve.’’

Wide-scale native planting would maintain the area’s rugged and natural look while also providing an injection of native flora and fauna, he said.

Main contractor Blakely Construction was planning to stagger work on different features of the site, delaying construction of the boardwalk until after April to avoid any disturbance to nesting and breeding grebe in the area.

Environmental protection methods would also be in place during the project, using silt curtains and sediment pumps, netting for capturing debris and scaffolding platforms, all aimed at protecting the lakefront.

A QLDC spokesman said the council hoped to retain mature trees where possible in the development and would be able to confirm that following a site visit with contractors.

The Jan McGuire Memorial Walk would remain in place, but plaques might be reinstated in a slightly different position, he said.