Have your say on the district’s future

Firstly, a big thanks to everyone who took the time engage with the draft 2023-2024 annual plan. The 301 submissions from individuals, organisations and community groups gave us a full day at the hearing in Wanaka on May 22.

At the time of writing this we were expecting to hear from more than 50 people in person and via Zoom sharing their thoughts on the draft plan and speaking to requests for community grant funding.

That process will be completed when the updated plan comes back to the council on June 29.

It won’t have escaped anybody that winter is fast approaching. Most folks have been switching on the heat pumps or stoking the log burner.

However, this does bring home that the need for secure housing, especially in the rental market, is as pressing asever.

The council is seeking feedback on the draft joint housing action plan which is a key priority in the Queenstown Lakes spatial plan.

The draft plan outlines a programme of work with solutions and actions. Several initiatives are already under way, such as the council’s work with the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust in support of affordable housing solutions; the inclusionary housing plan change to provide for more affordable housing; and the Te Putahi Ladies Mile variation proposing to rezone land to meet housing demands.

Please take time to get informed and have your say on the draft plan. It’s important we know what you think to help shape our ongoing response to this critical issue.

These are longer-term solutions but we know there are people with immediate needs.

Short-term fixes are not easy, but across our district there is a lot happening to alleviate the pressure and every small action counts.

This winter we are working with a range of other organisations to help people access essential services and advice if they find themselves stuck.

Resources and advice will be available on our website — go to www.qldc.govt.nz and look for ‘‘Welcome our Workers’’.

One small but important action we’ve taken is reducing the cost of hot showers at Queenstown Events Centre and Wanaka Recreation Centre.

We’re trying to make one of life’s essentials within reach of anyone doing it tough so opening up our facilities to help them through is the right thing to do. QLDC’s libraries offer another warm sanctuary with the opportunity to connect with others, use free internet, recharge phones, and, of course relax, among the books or join in on the vast range of community events.