October, 2018A major housing development on prime land in central Queenstown is
all-but confirmed, with the sale of the old Wakatipu High School site.
Its changed hands from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry for
Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and indications suggest
thats to allow it to be pegged for a housing development.
Thats welcome news for district councillor John MacDonald, who says
its about time.
Its exciting that somethings finally happening, its taken a long time,
LINZ Crown property deputy chief executive Jerome Sheppard confirms
the sale of the four-hectare sites being finalised.
Settlement is expected to take place in the coming weeks and well be
able to provide more information once the process has been
The Gorge Road/Fryer Street sites been empty since the move to a new
campus at Remarkables Park at the start of the year.
It entered the disposal process on April 3.
That triggered a multi-tiered process, with the first step being to
determine if the land was needed for any other public works.
MBIEs put its hand up, with the Ministry of Housing and Urban
Development (MHUD) confirming the government super-ministrys
purchasing the land-mark site.
MHUDS coy on the details, but says an announcements imminent.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is continuing to look at
a number of options to help it deliver on its housing agenda in the
Queenstown Lakes area, a spokesman says.
The Ministry isnt in a position to provide any further information at
this stage, but hopes to make an announcement before the end of the
The high school sites included in the Gorge Rd Business Mixed Use Zone
Special Housing Area, which was created in August 2017.
Cr MacDonald, who chaired the Mayoral Housing Affordability Taskforce,
says finally getting some progress on the sites future is fantastic.
Hes keen to see a mix of housing options, including apartment blocks
up to four storeys high, and more one- or two-bedroom options.
Its a big site, I think it needs to be reasonably high-density, multi-
Ngai Tahus long been thought to have an interest in the site.
In a statement, Ngai Tahu Property boss David Kennedy says the LINZ
notice is part of a process being undertaken by the Ministry of
Education and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to make
land available for housing purposes.
Ngai Tahu Property continues to work with the Crown as it considers
how to increase housing availability in that area.
A KiwiBuild spokesperson confirmed earlier this month KiwiBuilds
considering a number of proposals including developments in
Queenstown and Cromwell but wouldnt give details because the
information is commercially sensitive.
Earlier in the year, a Cabinet paper showing where KiwiBuild houses
would be built if they were distributed based on need revealed 2229
would go to Queenstown.
The governments KiwiBuild programme promises 100,000 affordable
homes to be built in New Zealand in the next 10 years.
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