Voting forms will be sent to the Wanaka Ward electorate from yesterday (July 6) as the process of deciding who will fill Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC)’s empty Wanaka seat begins.The seat, which was left vacant by Councillor Ella Lawton’s move to the Otago Regional Council, has four candidates hoping to fill it; Eddie Spearing, Jude Battson, Quentin Smith and Wayne Hudson.
Wanaka Primary School trustee, Ruby Island coordinator and Lake Hawea Guardians chairperson Jude Battson said that water quality, parking, roading, pedestrian and cycling safety, tourism, freedom campers, rampant development and managing the environment were key issues to her.
“I will work for the people, environment and local economy in a proactive and accountable way,” Jude said.
Semi-retired technology lawyer, mentor for a number of Wanaka start-ups and Wanaka Ski and Snowsports Club president Wayne Hudson said that he believed decisive planning was key for the area’s future.
He added that a sensitive approach to predicted growth needed to be developed in order to enhance and protect the area.
Self-employed Wanaka Swim Club president and cyclist Eddie said that water issues, Sticky Forest and the development of Wanaka’s industries outside of tourism and land development were all important issues to him.
“Our district is currently undergoing massive change and it has to be managed effectively with sympathetic vision,” he said.
“As a lake swimmer I gain enormous pleasure from the lake and am a strong advocate for purity of water. Of all the things for which I have a platform, our lakes and water issues affect every one of us.”
Deputy Chair of Wanaka Community Board Quentin Smith said that strong strategic planning in the areas of urban growth, economic development, transport, infrastructure, services, facilities and recreation with meaningful community engagement remained a priority.
“We need to ensure we don't lose the things that make Wanaka what it is and repeat the mistakes made elsewhere,” he said.
Voting closes at midday on Friday July 28, with the official declaration to be made on Wednesday August 2.
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