A website has been launched to coordinate and campaign against Wanaka airport’s proposed expansion.
The website has been set up by the Wanaka Stakeholders Group Incorporated (WSG) and states, “Our society's objectives are to engage with the residents on significant issues affecting our region, inform and stimulate discussion and to represent public concerns on issues affecting the Upper Clutha community.” The stakeholder group and the website both have the capacity to tackle any community issue but are currently campaigning most heavily on the airport.
The group have stated five objectives to their campaign: “WSG support and welcome the return of turboprop services to Wanaka; WSG oppose the development of Wanaka Airport for scheduled jet services; WSG is concerned about over-tourism and the adverse impact on the Upper Clutha communities and our environment; WSG support increasing air traffic to existing regional airports in preference to developing Wanaka for jet services; and WSG believe that the Queenstown Airport Corporation needs to demonstrate that it has fully considered the environmental impact of an airport redevelopment at Wanaka and demonstrate that it can meet New Zealand tourism sustainability commitment.”
The prospect of international flights at Wanaka airport has divided local opinion with some people and businesses coming out in enthusiastic support for international expansion; however in the Wanaka Sun poll which has been running on our home page for a week, opposition is much stronger. After six days of polling, support for international flights sits at 14 percent; neutral opinion sits at seven percent, and opposition sits at 79 percent.
The group are serious about recruiting local support and getting funding to support a legal opposition to Queenstown Airport Corporation. Membership is free however the option for becoming a financial member is $10. The new website is at www.protectwanaka.nz.