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February, 2019

Applications to operate visitor accommodation in the Queenstown Lakes
District have more than tripled in just two years.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council received 119 applications to run
visitor accommodation in 2017.
Last year, that skyrocketed to a whopping 414  a 247 per cent increase.
Despite the boom, independent commissioners appointed to hear
submissions on accommodation for the proposed district plan found the
issue had a marginal effect on the districts stretched rental market.
The council was hoping to secure restrictions on how many nights
houses could be rented to short-term visitors and how many people
could stay.
It wanted a 28-day three-let limit per annum, but couldnt get the
green light from commissioners, who instead recommended controlled
consent  which cannot be declined  for up to 90 days a year.
Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust boss Julie Scott says while
visitor accommodation isnt the only factor hitting the rental market, it
is a significant one.
I dont see how you can reach any other conclusion, she says.
What were seeing on the ground is the increased use of long-term
rental accommodation on websites like Airbnb, which is having a severe
impact on rental supply.
The increasing number of applications also means a flurry of paperwork
for council staff.
It comes as the council tries to fill dozens of vacancies, many of which
are in the consenting and property and infrastructure departments.
Council people and capability director Meghan Pagey previously told
Mountain Scene they were technical roles, which are more
challenging to fill. But she didnt believe it was impacting processing
Weve got statutory timeframes to meet, and we do everything we can
to meet them.
That means farming work out to contractors. For all resource consents,
the decision-maker is an internal senior planner, or very occasionally, an
independent commissioner.

Source: Mountain Scene


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