Date: 29th August 2014
In a Draft Economic Development Strategy issued by the Queenstown Lakes District Council this week, two key priorities were identified: encouraging higher value tourism and making it easier for knowledge-based industries to establish and flourish .
Mayor Vanessa van Uden said that the draft strategy built on the foundations created by the “Shaping our Future” forums and identified that the Council needed to take a stronger role in driving economic development in the district. The draft strategy also recognises the importance of enhancing the quality of the environment and future-proofing the district’s infrastructure. Queenstown Lakes District is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, but has relatively low productivity. The economy is unusually reliant on a few industries, which service visitors and the growing population. The draft strategy makes it clear there is “no magic bullet” and that economic gains are likely to be incremental rather than radical.
It suggests the Council establish a permanent economic forum or committee including private sector membership to lead the implementation of the Economic Development Strategy, once the community has provided feedback.
Another recommendation is to review the effectiveness of the three-way system for visitor promotion and facilitation, where Queenstown, Wanaka and Arrowtown have separate organisations, each receiving funding from the Council.
The draft strategy is on the agenda for this week’s Council meeting and the feedback period will run from 29 August – 26 September. You can read the full report, under Item 03 .
The draft strategy should be an encouraging sign for the supporters of the #gigatownWanaka campaign who are striving to create a business and educational community so that living in Wanaka can be seen as a career choice, not just a lifestyle choice. More about the #gigatownWanaka campaign: