Monday, 6th May, 2019

Transport planning:

Wakatipu Way to Go transport planning group are getting closer to deciding what the transport infrastructure between Frankton and Downtown QT might look like. If your business moves customers or freight between Downtown QT and Frankton it might be time to start paying attention to talk of ferries, gondolas and arterials.

The two options presented by the planners (see below link) involve considerable investment and promise productivity improvements to businesses trading in Wakatipu. In my view, at first blush, option two with the enhanced freight and visitor movement - with new arterials and the transit hub is preferable from a productivity perspective however the price tag has yet to be established.

I have contacted the planning project lead and asked that the Chamber is involved in the work undertaken with respect to the economic assessment of both options. As transport infrastructure is a key productivity driver it is important that the assessment includes a robust analysis of the economic benefit, including the opportunity costs of each option, not just the price of each option.

I will be undertaking some formal and informal consultation with members over the next few months. If you have expertise in moving freight, customers or staff between Frankton and Downtown, Glenorchy or Gorge Road and would like to contribute please give me a call.

Click here to read the short update on the two preferred options.

How the planning process works...

There are six steps in the Frankton to Downtown planning project. The planning group are up to step five of six. In this stage they are starting to take the two key options forward for modelling, environment and resource assessment as well as high level pricing with the objective of determining one preferred package. An economic assessment is also undertaken. Step five is likely to take three to five months. In step six, they challenge the preferred package to determine final suitability and then seek the necessary government (local, regional and national) funding.

Local visitor levy - it's 5%:

Great to hear that QLDC has listened to the concerns of accommodation providers and other businesses and settled on the lower end of the 5 to 10% range indicated for the visitor levy. Our members in the accommodation sector were concerned about the price dynamism they experience in their B2B and B2C markets and many felt that 10% was a step too far.

I will be speaking on a panel, with Jim Moore (Novotel) and Mayor Jim Boult on the levy next Wednesday evening (8th May). The event is hosted by the Otago Chapter of the Property Council of New Zealand. Chamber members may attend at the membership price. Please email if you wish to attend.

Business advocacy and representation:

A key part of my role is advocating for and favourably representing businesses trading in Wakatipu.

Below are links to two media items published this month in which I have undertaken this work on behalf of members.

Crux - Video, talking about my first 12 weeks in role, initial impressions and direction.
National Radio (Nine to Noon) - Lakeview development, housing, transport.

Trust you have a great week.

Kind Regards
Anna Mickell
Ph: 021 488709