Marina development workers parking all day by the marina have left slipway users “angry and disappointed,” according to director of Wānaka Marina and Wānaka Lakes Coastguard volunteer Mike Barker.
Barker said that, despite the Wānaka Lakefront Development Plan foremen being asked to park on the road above the site, workers from different companies - including Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Otago Regional Council (ORC) - continued to take up spaces beside the marina on a daily basis. They also parked in the P5 spaces and the gravel section reserved for cars with trailers.
This prevented “those wishing to use the slipways, commercial enterprises and those carrying out maintenance to the marina or wharves from parking anywhere nearby.”
Krystle Theunissen, owner of Wānaka Water Taxis, which runs trips from the marina twice daily, said this had been a problem for organisations operating out of the marina for over a year, including last summer. It affected her tour operators, who often stored life jackets or payment systems in their cars, or needed to go back and forth throughout their days, as well as their guests - who they had to advise to park elsewhere.
A number of other groups, including Paddle Wānaka, Wānaka Eco Tours and the Coastguard were impacted by the constant lack of spaces, which Barker said “[did] not reflect well on the tourism we are hoping to promote for the commercial operators of Wānaka.”
A group of operators contacted QLDC about the issue last year, but Council’s response was that it was public parking and there was nothing they could do. QLDC had also been asked to open up parking along the unmade section of the car park - which was reserved for boat trailers, but rarely full - but marina users parking in that section continued to receive tickets.
In response to photos taken of QLDC and ORC vehicles parking illegally in this section, spokesperson Jack Barlow said: “QLDC is always disappointed to hear about cars parking illegally. QLDC treats all vehicles in the same manner, and QLDC fleet vehicles parking illegally are subject to the same level of enforcement as all others.”
“Enforcement does take place at the marina. CCTV has been installed in the area to assist with higher levels of compliance, and after a period of education enforcement will commence,” he said.
Read edition 1002 of the Wānaka Sun here.