Tarras’ future could be founded on cherries, whisky, gold mining, airport development and cycle tourism.
But some residents want Tarras, which is less than 30 minutes drive from Cromwell or Wanaka, to be known ‘‘as the town that stopped an international airport’’.
Others are worried people are becoming divided, the draft 2022-23 Tarras Community Plan reveals.
The Central Otago District Council facilitated the draft community plan, which is due to be finalised this year after Covid and other delays. The final round of feedback closed on July 2.
Work began in November 2021 with a household values survey completed by 75 people.
The survey was redistributed in September last year, eliciting another 37 responses.
Two community workshops in October brought a total of 48 people together at the Tarras Memorial Hall to provide more feedback to council facilitators about community values, initiatives and direction.
A big cohort of residents (19) said they wanted to ensure their district thrived and that they could ‘‘speak and have control over their own community’’. In December 2021, 15 people said they wanted Tarras to be known in the future as the place where ‘‘time stands still — no international airport’’.
In September 2022, 10 people said the Sustainable Tarras lobby group was something they would like to change.
‘‘Some respondents felt the group was dividing the community, that they need to change the way they engage with the community and to respect the views of others,’’ the draft community plan said.
‘‘Once everyone is in agreement that the Tarras Community Plan is truly reflective of community sentiment, the document will be finalised and handed over to the Tarras community to own and drive,’’ it said.
Several new developments are under way in the Lindis, Tarras and Bendigo areas, and these provided the context and circumstances for why the draft community plan was written.
Developments include the four-stage Scapegrace Distillery and hospitality complex being built at Bendigo, a 17-lot farm park on Jolly Rd, other recently approved subdivisions and the completion of a 4500sq m cherry packhouse, Lindis Coolpac Ltd, in December last year.
Christchurch International Airport’s proposed development of a new regional airport at Tarras is still in the first of three stages: validation and planning (first), approvals (second) and construction (third).
Santana Minerals is exploring the Bendigo-Ophir project near Tarras.
The Australian-owned company announced at the end of June it was considering advancing the project into a ‘‘long-life, environmentally sustainable mining operation’’
Meanwhile, the Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network Trust wants to connect Wanaka to the Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail via Luggate, Tarras and Cromwell.
The trail project proposes two bridges across the Clutha River/Mata-Au, one near the head of Lake Dunstan and the other nearer to Luggate, where the link will join an existing Department of Conservation track.
Cold Gold Clutha is also investigating suction dredge gold mining near Sandy Point, downstream of Luggate to the confluence of the Lindis River.