Boult to focus on ‘doing the best job’

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Focusing on ‘‘doing the best job I can for the district’’ is the aim of Queenstown Lakes District Council Mayor-elect Jim Boult as he returns for a second term.

High on his agenda is completing the process for the introduction of a visitor levy.
The council were a ‘‘good way through’’ but needed to complete the work to bring the levy into place.
Airport issues were ‘‘obviously a focal point’’ and there were traffic and transport issues to resolve.

‘‘Massive progress’’ had been made with public transport and the $2 bus service in Queenstown, but he considered the council could run the service more effectively than the current agreement.
Mr Boult wanted to look at extending the $2 service to Wanaka ‘‘if we can make it stack up’’.

Finding ways to house ‘‘ordinary folk’’ in the district was another priority, and environmental issues were ‘‘very high on the agenda’’, Mr Boult said.
‘‘Probably the thing that sits most in my mind is here we are in the most fabulous part of the world and we’ve go to make sure it stays that way.’’

Niamh Shaw is the new Wanaka ward councillor, and will join returning councillors Quentin Smith and Calum MacLeod.
Ms Shaw was ‘‘still shell­-shocked’’ about being elected, but ‘‘really, really chuffed’’.
She credited her work as chairwoman of the Wanaka Community Supporting our Northlake Neighbours Inc which raised awareness of issues at the Northlake development as one reason she was elected.
‘‘I think that resonated with people.’’
There would be a ‘‘steep learning curve’’ as she learned the policies and processes of council.
A focus for her was to get clarity around the Wanaka Airport plans, and to know more about the processes to ensure the community was well informed.
‘‘We need to focus more on community driven development that is genuinely for the benefit and wellbeing of the community,’’ Ms Shaw said.

Joining the Wanaka Community Board are two new members — Wanaka businessman Barry Bruce and Ritual Espresso Cafe owner Chris Hadfield.
They will join returning board members Warbirds over Wanaka general manager Ed Taylor and wedding celebrant Jude Battson.

Mr Bruce said he now had a clear mandate to focus on Wanaka and the Upper Clutha area.
One of the first things he wanted to do was to push for more autonomy and independence for the community board.
The Wanaka and Upper Clutha community had ‘‘grown hugely’’ in the last 20 years.
‘‘So we are a large community and we do have a lot of issues that are directly related to this area.’’
Longer term planning that was ‘‘directly specific’’ to Wanaka including the Town Centre Masterplan and the Airport was being driven by council, but Mr Bruce thought the community board could play a more active role.

Mr Hadfield said his first priority would be to understand more about the existing projects in the pipeline with focus on the town centre, the lake front, transport, infrastructure and the airport.
These were the issues that were foremost on people’s minds leading up to the election.
‘‘My experience is in listening to everybody’s views and hopefully coming up with a consensus as we move forward,’’ he said.