McDonald's gets green light to buy Wānaka site

by Kim Bowden - May 30, 2024

McDonald's has been given approval to buy land in Wānaka, with a view to opening a restaurant there by 2026.

Yesterday the Overseas Investment Office revealed its decision to allow the international fast-food chain to purchase approximately 3,000 square metres of land in the town.

The exact location of it was withheld in the decision document, however McDonald's has already made public its intention to open a restaurant in a new development where State Highway 6 turns towards Albert Town and Hāwea, at the base of Mount Iron.

McDonald's has go-ahead to buy a block of land in Wānaka (Images: eDocs).

In the decision, published on the Land Information New Zealand website, the Overseas Investment Office says, "The restaurant is expected to be operational by 2026".

McDonald’s Restaurants (New Zealand) Limited, the applicant, is ultimately owned by McDonald’s Corporation, a publicly listed company on the New York Stock Exchange, the decision says.

"Consent has been granted because the application met the investor test and the non-residential use test."

McDonald's already has a consenting process underway with the Queenstown Lakes District Council for a single-storey, 445-square-metre building, with room for 75 diners on the site.

The company wants the restaurant to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and include a drive-through.

The proposal is a controversial one in the town, which has a history of fighting fast-food franchises.

In 2017 a petition was unsuccessful in stopping pizza outlet Domino's from setting up its Ardmore Street store.

News last year the iconic 'golden arches' could make an appearance was met with similar resistance, and an online petition against the proposal organised by Wānaka resident Sarah Morrison has attracted close to 5,500 signatories.

Main image (eDocs): A glimpse of the future? McDonald's plan for its first Wānaka restaurant, beside the new Mount Iron roundabout on State Highway 6.

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