With elections looming on October 8, Wanaka’s elected representatives are mulling over their futures in public service.
Wanaka Community Board chairman Barry Bruce and deputy chairman Ed Taylor have both made decisions: Mr Bruce will stand for re-election while Mr Taylor has decided to step down.
Jude Battson on Friday remained undecided as to whether she would stand again, while Chris Hadfield said he was ‘‘99% sure’’ he would put his name forward for the board again.
Of the three Wanaka councillors on the Queenstown Lakes District Council, only Quentin Smith said he had made up his mind. He will stand again.
Deputy mayor Calum MacLeod said he was still undecided while Niamh Shaw could not be contacted regarding her intentions.
After a representation review last year, people in the Wanaka-Upper Clutha ward can this year elect four councillors (instead of three), as well as four community board members.
Wanaka’s population was 16,250 in 2021, according to Infometrics.
Mr Taylor has served two terms on the board and said he wanted to encourage people to consider standing for election.
The forecast was for Wanaka’s population to grow to between 30,000 and 50,000 in the next two tothree decades, and the town would continue to evolve and change, he said.
‘‘The town will always be a desirable place to live and even when it becomes a small city it can still be a vibrant and fantastic place to live and raise families,’’ Mr Taylor said.
For the most part, board work had been very rewarding, he said.
‘‘I would urge anyone who wants to be part of helping shape the town’s future to put their name forward.’’
Mr Taylor said it had been frustrating getting used to the time it took for the wheels of local government to turn.
But nearing the end of his second term, he was starting to see a range of board›driven projects come to fruition.
‘‘There’s some real momentum now to complete a number of projects which we have been talking about for a long time.
‘‘I’m especially looking forward to getting stage 2 of the Lakefront Development Plan completed over the next six months and also the roundabout at the Mt Iron/ Hawea turnoff intersection,’’ Mr Taylor said.
He would also like to see more work done soon to address issues about downtown parking before visitors return in big numbers.
‘‘Let’s not wait till we’re busy again, much easier to do these jobs when it’s quiet,’’ he said.
Mr Taylor said the future for Wanaka looked bright.
‘‘The prospect of the Silverlight Film Studios is a great example of ways we can diversify our economy to take the pressure off tourism.
‘‘I am also watching the Tarras Airport proposal with interest. If you take a wider regional view it makes sense to have one airport which is able to service all the passenger and freight needs for this fast› growing region,’’ he said.
Candidates for this year’s local body elections must get their nominations to the council by August 12.