Wānaka mooring owner: new fees and consent requirement not affordable

by Lauren Pattemore - Jul 06, 2024

Lake Wānaka mooring owner Iris Abächerli says that changes to local mooring rules have produced large costs that she says she cannot pay.

She felt it was "disrespectful" when an extra bill arrived on July 1 asking for $500 be paid by July 3 for the annual mooring permit fee.

"They say it needs to be paid two days after they sent it...  that is not how you do business," Ms Abächerli says.

She notes that the price of the permit has "dramatically increased" from last year when she remembers paying under $300.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council recently increased the cost of mooring fees as part of a fees increase across many different council services.

Ms Abächerli mooring's been in the lake near Eely Point for the past 20 years, but she says in 2022, mooring owners were asked by the council to apply for a resource consent for to keep it in the same spot in the lake.

"I thought because I bought it and I have paid permit fees for it since 2003 that I owned it, but apparently not," Ms Abächerli explains.

After making inquiries, she tells Crux that the process of putting in a resource consent application will cost upwards of $12,000 once she hires someone to help her through the process.

She says she doesn't have the money to pay this, particularly when it is not guaranteed if the application will be successful.  

Wānaka resident and Queenstown Lakes deputy mayor Quentin Smith agrees the situation is "messy" and the role of council and of local iwi Ngāi Tahu in the mooring consent process has not yet been determined.

The discussions between council and local iwi Ngāi Tahu are still ongoing and have not reached a conclusion, Mr Smith says.

Mr Smith understands that the extra costs placed on mooring owners would be frustrating for them.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council was approached for comment earlier this week (Thursday July 4), but is yet to respond.

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