Quentin Smith formally joins 2019 election race
Wanaka councillor Quentin Smith has formally announced that he will stand for election in this year's local body elections. Here's his full statement.
"After a full term on the Wanaka Community Board, two years on Council and just over a year as the Wanaka Community Board Chair, I am pleased to officially announce I will be seeking reelection as a Councillor in the Wanaka Ward for the Queenstown Lakes District. I have fought hard to have Wanaka’s voice heard around the Council table and would be pleased to continue should I get reelected.
We are in a unique period of our town and district where the pressures of growth in both tourism and residential population are being profoundly felt across every sector of the community and creating a sense of uncertainty.
As a community we need to ensure the needs and wants of our community are not over ridden by the “growth imperative”. Finding the balance between managing growth and not losing our soul remains the biggest challenge in our community. I remain committed to a comprehensive and strategic approach to planning and ensuring that infrastructure and resources keep up with our needs while protecting the landscape, environment and community values.
As well as being well informed and considered, I am committed to representing the communities voice when making decisions. I believe at the end of the day we as Councillors are there to serve and represent the ratepayers not our personal agenda. Consultation and engagement has proven to be one of the big challenges in our growing community with many not feeling ‘heard” amongst the noise.
The unspecified and unconstrained expansion of Wanaka Airport continues to be one of the greatest concerns and challenges to the Upper Clutha and potentially the single biggest accelerator to our already rapid growth we could imagine with seemingly little consideration being given of the infrastructure demands or environmental impacts of aircraft movements on our community. I will continue to argue for a more clearly communicated and strategic approach to the Airport Management which acknowledges our community wants and needs.
Through the Ten Year Plan process and through the many planning underway there is a massive list of issues to be addressed and projects that need to be delivered in Wanaka to meet the needs of the community. Continuing to plan and fund improvements in transport infrastructure, sport and recreation facilities and improvements in public spaces remain a big focus while protecting what we love about Wanaka."