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April, 2017

Queenstowns shortage of worker accommodation has skifield operator NZ
Ski appealing to Wakatipu homeowners to house its staff this winter.
The company is reportedly concerned that hundreds of staff it employs at
Coronet Peak and The Remarkables could struggle to find digs for the
As a result, boss Paul Anderson says its targeting homeowners who let out
rooms nightly on Airbnb and are sick of it  or those whove never
considered renting their spare room.
Since advertising in school newsletters late last week, NZSkis already had
offers of about 30 rooms.
Queenstown mayor Jim Boult applauds NZSki for a great initiative,
however, he says purpose-built worker digs is the long-term answer.
We are attempting to assist developers who are heading down that
Queenstowns council has set up a taskforce to look at solutions to local
housing issues.
Andersons plea to homeowners is: If you house someone for three or
four months, you could earn $3000 for a room, and help out a great
young person who has jumped through all the hoops to get a job with us.
Its really a win-win.
Anderson adds anyone letting out a room for more than three months
wont be rated for visitor accommodation.
NZSkis simply acting as a broker, he says.
As stated to parents in the school newsletter: You keep control  you will
have the choice of who to interview and accept, and any agreement will
be directly between you and the tenant.
Anderson: We think $200 a week is fair, but there might be people with
fully self-contained double rooms and they can demand a bit more
because youll get a couple in there.
If we get 100 rooms, thats a massive dent in the issue weve got.
He estimates about half his 900 staff are locals who already have digs,
and about half the staff coming from overseas will already have
something jacked up.
So we reckon theres about 200 or 300 staff turning up going, where am
I going to live?
Last winter, NZSki tried to solve the problem by providing subsidised
accommodation in Cromwell and bussing workers to and from the
But only 15 to 20 staff took up the offer.
It just wasnt attractive to staff because Queenstown is where they want
to be, Anderson says.
Longer term hes hopeful developers will build worker accommodation
that employers like NZSki can use to house staff.
We know that theres a lot of employers in town who are concerned.
Weve spoken to quite a few developers about it.
Anderson, however, says the cost of land is a sticking point.
The problem is that the best-value use for a piece of land in central
Queenstown is probably not going to be worker accommodation unless
local or central government comes to the party and helps.

(Source: Mountain Scene)


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