Yesterday I presented at the Plan Change Hearing for Three Parks in Wanaka.
It is disappointing that a local developer and the Queenstown Lakes District Council would entertain the retail park concept for Wanaka. I think it shows a severe lack of appreciation and understanding of what Wanaka is about. Wanaka is a world class destination that attracts people to a stunning setting that supports a laid back social scene devoid of the consumer mentality. One of the common reasons you hear that people are attracted to live or holiday in Wanaka is that there is a real sense of community and that life is somewhat simpler and easier without the corporate retailers encouraging everybody to keep up with the Joneses.
Splitting the town centre into two and creating separate tourist and local sectors will severely impact on our community. Wanaka needs to maintain its point of difference to Queenstown, having choices is what makes this region unique, Wanaka, Queenstown, Arrowtown and Frankton are all attractions in their own right, it would be foolish to try become a clone of Queenstown.