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June, 2019

A major new community hub in central Queenstown is a step closer to
Queenstown Lakes District Council staff have recommended that the
council enter a partnership agreement with Ngai Tahu to develop a
community precinct.
The council entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with
Ngai Tahu Property to explore development options for the sites on
Stanley and Ballarat streets in October last year.
In a report prepared for councillors ahead of Thursday's full council
meeting, staff recommend the partnership be formalised.
If the proposal goes ahead, it could mean a major new cultural hub for
the resort. It has also been touted as a possible new home for
Queenstown's Memorial Hall.
Mayor Jim Boult said in a press release the proposal provided a
community precinct approach, with the intended development
expected to realise a new dedicated library, a performing and visual
arts centre, a town square, and commercial buildings, as well as the
councils one-office administration building.
Recent research has shown that people feel we need a step change in
what this district has to offer for arts and cultural activities. What this
proposed partnership can deliver has the potential to be a game
changer,' he said.
'It was originally a strong case to build the new council office on the
site. Now I think this bigger vision is a compelling no-brainer.
"This partnership can give us the opportunity to create a cultural and
community heart for the communities of Queenstown and the wider
Council chief executive Mike Theelen said the report recommends the
partnership agreement with Ngai Tahu Property over other options
because of the 'mutual benefit this presents for both parties, as well as
the benefits to the district and its communities'.
'In particular, the vision for the site delivers a range of exciting
facilities for the arts community. Formalising the partnership has the
potential to unlock more of the site for community assets and takes a
longer term, intergenerational approach to the development that is one
of the benefits that comes from working with Ngai Tahu Property.
'The partnership also has the potential to mitigate risk and development
costs for QLDC, whilst giving us the opportunity to work with a
reputable and respected developer.'
Ngai Tahu Property chief executive David Kennedy said it welcomed the
opportunity to build on preliminary discussions following last years
We look forward to formalising our partnership with the council to
develop a new civic, community and cultural heart which will serve
Queenstowns residents for generations to come.
The sites are currently mainly occupied by public carparks.
The report states public carparking will not be retained on the sites
other than what is necessary for the new facilities. Public parking would
be "provided elsewhere' and funding could be reallocated.
The site is also home to several community arts groups.
If the partnership agreement is approved by councillors, the council and
Ngai Tahu Property will work towards a development agreement and
explore a site development plan.
Community and stakeholder consultation and engagement for the
potential community and cultural facilities planned for the site will then
take place.
Council officers will undertake detailed discussions with any affected
parties on the site, to ensure ongoing support in transitioning to a new
location during the phased development of the proposed precinct.
Dates for consultation will be confirmed as the development agreement
and a programme plan are defined.

Source: Otago Daily Times


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