QLDC Candidate Questionnaire: Wanaka Ward

Voting papers are currently being sent out for the upcoming local body elections. We mountain bikers make up a significant block of eligible voters in the Queenstown Lakes District and it is important that we have a mayor and councillors who are supportive of mountain biking and the mountain bike club.

To help you decide who to vote for we sent a short questionnaire out to all the candidates. Here are the responses we got back from the candidates for the Wanaka ward. I don’t know how many of our members are based in Wanaka, but there is a lot of good info here for Wanaka ward voting bikers whether they are QMTBC members or not.

Wanaka Ward

Ross McRobie

Ross McRobie1: Do you support the QMTBC’s goal of further developing the local mountain bike trail network?
Yes I would subject to my comments about a business plan, good governance and financials

2: Should Queenstown strive to be the premier mountain bike destination in New Zealand?
Yes as this fits in with other trails goals as well

3: Are you in favour of the QLDC offering financial assistance to the QTMBC?
Not sure about this at this stage… I would need to understand Councils priorities first

4: Do you support the renewal of the QMTBC’s license area on Gorge Road?
Yes providing there have been no breaches of your lease etc.

5: Do you have any other comments you would like to add?
I am a trail rider rather than a mountain biker but do try and support all things biking…best wishes.

Jude Battson

Jude BattsonWe’re still waiting to hear back from Jude. Hopefully we will have an update soon.

Quentin Smith

Quentin Smith1: Do you support the QMTBC’s goal of further developing the local mountain bike trail network?
I absolutely support the efforts of the QMTBC to further the network in conjunction with the Wakatipu Trails Trust, and the corresponding Upper Clutha Trails Trust and Bike Wanaka over the hill. Biking has become a key part of our recreation needs.

2: Should Queenstown strive to be the premier mountain bike destination in New Zealand?
I support the promotion of Queenstown and Wanaka as a destination for mountain biking and trail riding.

3: Are you in favour of the QLDC offering financial assistance to the QTMBC?
Yes, it is appropriate for the Council to help with funding of recreation groups like QTMBC, where there is a substantial benefit to the general public. But any funding should be proportion to rate payer distribution. Wanaka should receive similar funding proportional to rate payer population.

4: Do you support the renewal of the QMTBC’s license area on Gorge Road?
Yes, i support the renewal of the Gorge Road Licence, in the context of better long term strategic planning of recreation needs, to enhance security for such users groups.

5: Do you have any other comments you would like to add?
Mountain Biking and other non traditional sports have evolved over the last decade or two to become a massive participation recreation in our district and throughout the world. The cross section of the community from young kids to active retirees from trail riding though to hard core free riding gives it reach to a large proportion of our community. The investment in QT biking has been well seen with it fast becoming a Southern Whistler. Funding and support of this growth should also be filtered through to Wanaka (proportional to population) with the priority for Wanaka being securing “Sticky Forest” as a scenic and recreation reserve to be the core of the Upper Clutha biking network.

Ella Lawton

Ella LawtonWe’re still waiting to hear back from Ella. Hopefully we will have an update soon.

Calum MacLeod

Calum MacLeod1: Do you support the QMTBC’s goal of further developing the local mountain bike trail network?
Yes I do however think that if we worked with other areas – Bike Wanaka, CODC with regard to their other options when we would truely be world class.

2: Should Queenstown strive to be the premier mountain bike destination in New Zealand?
Question should be “Should the Queenstown Lakes District strive …” The answer to this is of course yes. If we added Sticky Forest / Mt Iron etc to your trails then we could offer a multi day package. Think round the Lakes touring. Cardrona Valley. Mototapu etc. One of my favorite quotes is – “If you want to get there fast – go alone. If you want to get there strong – go together!”.

3: Are you in favour of the QLDC offering financial assistance to the QTMBC?
Yes but we do not have deep pockets and there are always other demands on public funding. Some worthy causes who missed out this year – Queenstown Air Ambulance, St John, etc. I get that this will be self funding eventually we just need to walk a balanced line.

4: Do you support the renewal of the QMTBC’s license area on Gorge Road?
Yes – given the information I have to hand at the moment. Certainly over bus parking!

5: Do you have any other comments you would like to add?
Yes – Keep up the good work!

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