In its first meeting post lockdown the Wānaka Community Board had to decide whether to grant a lakeside reserve licence to Lakeland Adventures on the Roys Bay land where the log cabin, due for removal, sits.
Lakeland Adventures sought approval for a branded nine-metre trailer on-site, a towing vehicle and the ability to rent lake equipment and sell guided commercial tours from the site.
Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod said supporting Wānaka companies during the fallout from coronavirus was of the utmost importance.
“That we have a vibrant lakefront is important while we rebuild Wānaka post-coronavirus,” he said. “We need to be doing all we can to help these businesses.”
A spokesperson for Lakeland Adventures said the business was “wanting to continue operations in the face of economic turmoil, especially in the tourism sector.
“A decision for the log cabin to be removed has created additional uncertainty to the business, and therefore a new beach license has to be applied for.”
The 20-year lease of the foreshore site expired in 2017 and has been on a monthly tenancy since, to allow for the implementation of the Lakefront Development Plan.
“With the current tourism market there is going to be a need to be lenient to businesses to ensure they keep operating into the future as they have done safely for the last 30 years,” the spokesperson said.
Community board members Niamh Shaw, Jude Battson and Quentin Smith had concerns with the proposal, ranging from safety to signage and accessibility to the site for the public.
“One of my big concerns is the scope and scale of activity, which I feel is significantly more than what currently happens,” Shaw said.
Battson and Smith both questioned the branded trailer, with Battson saying she considered it a building and Smith questioning the signage “which is 20 times more than other beach licenses and represents billboarding on council reserve.”
Macleod noted Lakeland Adventures' long track record of responsible business at the site.
In the end, Lakelands’ proposal was passed four to three.
Read edition 975 of the Wānaka Sun here.