Hawea residents take action against subdivision supporters

by Eileen Goodwin - Jul 15, 2018

A Wanaka real estate firm is trying to mollify an irate client who cancelled a property management agreement after a controversial Lake Hawea subdivision passed a crucial hurdle.

First National sales manager Lynette Winsloe says a landlord took exception to the firm’s support for Lane Hocking’s bid for a Special Housing Area on Cemetery Rd, outside the proposed Lake Hawea urban growth boundary.

A couple of weeks ago the Queenstown Lakes District Council voted to progress the proposal, which also needs to be approved by Housing Minister Phil Twyford if it’s to go ahead.

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Lynette Winsloe: “Do we have the right to eliminate people who want to come and be a part of the community?"

Winsloe says the client was “firm in their beliefs”, but also civil.

She says she doesn’t want to fall out with the Hawea community, but first-home buyers are being driven out of the district.

“Do we have the right to eliminate people who want to come and be a part of the community?

“We’re working on it (with the client) to try to resolve something,” she says.

“I can appreciate there’s a lot of people who are fully against it, the Hawea community. We don’t want to come up against them but, on the other hand, we’re seeing it from a different side than they are,” Winsloe says.

The firm wrote a letter of support for Hocking’s proposal early in the process, and Winsloe made a personal submission ahead of last month’s decision.

Lake Hawea resident Cherilyn Walthew says real estate firms have a conflict of interest and their views should not be taken seriously.

“All those guys are in it, at the end of the day, for a dollar.

“If they don’t live there, they shouldn’t be having a say.

“There is definitely conflict in the community at the moment between those who will benefit and those who won’t.”

Walthew grew up in Wanaka and says she couldn’t live there now because of the way it has developed. She accepts Hawea will continue to grow, but she doesn’t want it to become another Wanaka.

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Lane Hocking: “Zero intention to do any land-banking.”

Walthew says she suspects Hocking might sit on some of the sections and sell in stages to maximise profit, a suggestion he strongly rejects when contacted by Crux.

Walthew says SHAs have failed. She cites a sale price highlighted in the media this week of $890,000 for a house in Queenstown’s first SHA.

She says it’s a consequence of giving developers too much control, and SHAs have been “absolutely useless” at providing affordable housing.

In response, Hocking says there is “zero intention to do any land-banking” of sections and he wouldn’t be able to anyway, under the terms of the SHA.

Hocking has promised the house and land packages will cost no more than $550,000.

His focus now is agreeing a deed of obligations with the QLDC, ahead of it going to Twyford for approval.

“Anybody who’s against this - I would urge them to have a 10-minute chat to someone who’s in that situation of a first-time buyer…,” Hocking says.

Another resident, Jen Rumore, says there’s a “mistaken perception” that residents are anti-development.

“Hawea embraced Timsfield and Sentinel Park completely.

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Jennifer Rumore: "There is a great concern...QLDC is struggling to properly manage the developments that they have already approved.”

“There is a great concern that during every rainstorm that occurs, Sentinel Park area water does not run off and in fact runs on to Cemetery Rd and creates a hazard similar to Northlake in Wanaka and that QLDC is struggling to properly manage the developments that they have already approved.”

Concerned residents met last weekend to discuss ways to continue their opposition.

Three Queenstown Lakes District councillors voted against the proposal. They were Wanaka ward councillors Quentin Smith and Calum MacLeod, and Arrowtown ward representative Scott Stevens. The only Wanaka councillor who voted in support of the proposal, Ross McRobie, declined to comment when contacted by Crux.

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