The red tape entangling a popular summer attraction has come undone.
Kiwi Water Park faced uncertainty as to whether it could open this summer after a dispute over consents and traffic management.
The conditions of the consent required a right-turn bay to be installed by November 2022 in advance of the 2022-23 season, and questions had arisen over who would construct and pay for it and when it could be done.
This week, Land Information New Zealand (Linz) head of Crown property Sonya Wikitera said work would start on the turning bay before December.
‘‘On this basis, we advised that Linz is now in a position to conditionally approve a one-year permit for the Kiwi Water Park to operate this summer,’’ she said.
‘‘Waka Kotahi is acting on behalf of Linz to project manage this right turning bay off the state highway.’’
Linz advised earlier in the week that the cost would likely be met by agencies or an agency with responsibilities for traffic and for the land and services used by the Central Otago community but that decision had not been made.
Kiwi Water Park was originally granted resource consent by the Central Otago District Council (CODC) to operate the park for six years, and variations were made last year to move the park to a more sheltered area.
The park also required a yearly permit from Linz as the landowner of Lake Dunstan.
Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency was not consulted when the initial resource consent was granted, but became involved after a serious crash occurred at the access to the car park used by the water park and other recreational users in the first season.
Waka Kotahi installed temporary traffic management at the access for the remainder of the season, and consent conditions were added requiring improved access signage, fencing and monitoring/reporting on vehicle use of the access at the end of the season.
A traffic consultant concluded a right-turn bay was required to ensure safe and efficient access, a conclusion accepted by Kiwi Water Park, the CODC, Linz and Waka Kotahi at a meeting in June.
CODC action planning and environment manager Lee Webster said the water park had failed to satisfy all the requirements of its resource consent, and the council had worked with the operator ‘‘in understanding the requirements’’.
Since December 8 last year, the council had received 23 complaints regarding the water park’s operation, he said.
Kiwi Water Park co-owner Emily Rutherford said the issues behind many of the complaints, such as access and parking issues, were worsened by both Covid regulations last summer and the operator’s lack of legal right to tell people what they could do on public land.
She acknowledged the fencing last year did not meet requirements, and she was fixing that now she knew the water park could open on December 3.
‘‘This will be our first summer without Covid regulations, which is going to be a huge relief,’’ she said.