Wānaka Sun       

Board given a ‘wake up call’

Posted at 8:34pm Thursday 23 Sep, 2021


Councillors have voted to retain the Wanaka Community Board in its present form, with all three Wanaka Ward Queenstown Lakes District Councillor positions retained. 

The original motion before last week's meeting on Thursday was to retain the WCB, but with only one Wanaka Ward councillor sitting alongside the four community board members.

An amendment proposed by Wanaka Ward QLDC councillor Niamh Shaw, and seconded by Wanaka Ward QLDC councillor Callum Macleod proposed keeping all three Wanaka Ward Councillors. 

In speaking to the amendment, Shaw said the three Wanaka Ward councillors had underestimated the dissatisfaction from a third of the population and suggested QLDC needed to critically review how they do things. 

“The community feedback was a wake-up call to all of us,” she said.

A good number of the submissions from the Upper Clutha in favour of retaining the Wanaka Community Board had made the point that not all three councillors should sit on the Wanaka Community Board. 

People have until October 22 to appeal the decision.


The Wānaka Sun invited each member of the Wānaka Community Board to provide 250 words on their thoughts following the QLDC decision.


Members declined the opportunity and provided a combined statement which follows:


The Wanaka Community Board has welcomed the Queenstown Lakes District Council vote to retain the Board.


The Representation Review process has enabled Upper Clutha citizens to express their preferences for how elected representation should be structured and clearly their preference was for the Community Board to stay. 


The four elected Wanaka Community Board members, along with the three Wanaka councillors who are also appointed to the board, are now working on ways to strengthen the role of the Wanaka Community Board and the working relationship with the wider QLDC and staff.


These discussions will include many aspects of how the board operates including Governance Protocols, board delegations, QLDC information and communication and links to local community associations.


All board members see this as a unique opportunity to reset the board and reinforce the ability of our citizens to have a real say about how their communities and neighbourhoods work, not only to ensure the right services are provided but also contribute to more resilient communities which are able to resolve many of their issues and concerns.


We take this opportunity to say thank you for community support, particularly the people who submitted and spoke during the Representation Review Hearing to retain the Board.


The statement was presented in the names of Niamh Shaw, Jude Battson, Chris Hadfield, Calum McLeod, Quentin Smith, Ed Taylor and Barry Bruce. 


  • Board Chair Barry Bruce has moved to correct his statement in last week's Sun that “there are around 450 full-time staff in Queenstown and just 12 in Wānaka”. There are in fact around 75 full-time equivalent staff based in Wānaka and the Upper Clutha across multiple different departments, not including those Queenstown-based staff who regularly travel here to support their teams. 


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