Like many others, the lockdown period provided some interesting challenges for the Wānaka Community Board (WCB) to continue with business as usual. Skype and Zoom meetings became the order of the day, proving working remotely could be productive and convenient for many of us. I want to share a few topics of interest that have been on the WCB agenda recently.
Minor Improvements Budget
This budget is used for smaller transport projects costing less than $1 million which have to be agreed with Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency) to qualify for a government subsidy. Recently the Upper Clutha minor improvements budget has received scrutiny by the board helping staff to determine the priority of projects.
The budget is agreed as part of the QLDC ten-year plan, which is developed every three years in-line with the Waka Kotahi approved programme. It may be reviewed as part of the interim Annual Plan deliberations debated by councillors. A list of prioritised projects is compiled under the Minor Improvements Programme Development Policy based on assessment criteria and weightings. The Community Board provides input as part of this process. Projects can include intersection improvements, pedestrian drop crossings, footpath and drainage upgrades. Currently, the Nook Road and Hāwea Back Road intersection is being upgraded, and an improvement of signage and lines on Ardmore Street is underway.
The minor improvements budget is listed as an item within the total budget in the final Annual Plan 2020/21 and forms a small part of the overall transport investments in Wānaka. Any proposed increases in funding projects that sit within the minor improvements budget would need a further review from Waka Kotahi to receive partial funding. The Annual Plan will be presented for adoption at the Council meeting on June 25. If you are keen to check it out, you can access the plan at qldc.govt.nz or drop into any Council office.
Wānaka Lakefront Development
Progress on Stage Three is well underway with detailed design nearing completion. Several artist impressions have been released showing examples of the proposed boardwalk and wide-scale plantings to maintain a rugged natural look. The Community Board looks forward to work commencing on this stage which will make this underutilised part of the lake front accessible for people to enjoy, allowing a close up ecological experience while enjoying amazing views.
Stage Two of the plan was put on hold last year due to some community concerns. The Board and QLDC project team intend to revisit Stage Two concept planning shortly. An important part of this process will be engaging with the community. The aim is to develop a plan that will deliver excellent community outcomes while enhancing this quintessential part of Wānaka Lakefront. The objective will be to preserve the natural character, provide easy access for all ages plus sufficient parking for future needs. Integral to this process will be options for the future of the popular millennium pathway.
“Pop in” sessions
Finally, the board is reintroducing their community “Pop in” sessions which will be held on the first Wednesday of every month (except January). All are welcome to drop by this Wednesday, July 1, between 12.00-1.00pm. You’ll find us at the Wānaka Recreation Centre meeting room on Sir Tim Wallis Drive.
We look forward to helping with questions and feedback on local issues, good or not so good. Whether you want to discuss any of the topics raised here or have something completely different on your mind, you can expect a warm welcome along with a cuppa and biscuit.
Read Edition 980 of the Wānaka Sun here.