I am for the new future of Queenstown and the growth happening all around Queenstown and Frankton. But this may lead to some bad things that I know many people will not agree with.
One of the main issues that is facing Queenstown is the new demand for more land that will be used for hotels and shopping centres. In the last couple of years here, as a local I know and am sure you will know how much this used to be chilled out town. It has changed and it all started with a simple set of traffic lights. Traffic and the influx of tourists and people visiting and moving into Queenstown and Frankton is simply crazy. New housing developments have shot up quickly such as Shotover Country and Jacks Point. Big infrastructure is now starting to affect traffic numbers and land usage like Five Mile shopping centre which has been under construction for nearly 10 years. Despite its ups and downs, it has been a massive boost to the Queenstown economy, providing plenty of jobs and new shops and they say that there’s more to come.
However, there are some solutions starting to be discussed for our traffic problems and some that are nearly finished. One of them is the new bridge at Frankton that is finally going to improve traffic flow during the ski season. In a recent article on Stuff.co.nz titled ‘Queenstown’s Growth - a Blessing and a Curse” they talk about new plans for a four-lane highway (Eastern Arterial Road) to link everything around Frankton and help reduce traffic.
The second problem is the housing market. House prices have risen by a substantial amount in the last year or two. An example taken from Stuff’s article says that a house places at 11 Marston Road, Lower Shotover, is on the market for $885,000 about $321,000 more than when it last sold, just under two years ago. This clearly shows that Queenstown is becoming a very expensive place to live. This, combined with the increasing amount of tourists coming into Queenstown is a problem as we are struggling to provide homes.
Yet this is also awesome for the construction and tourism industry. Our town can develop better infrastructure and having more people here boosts our town’s economy. Our town is definitely changing and we as a community needs to accept it and find solutions to help with all of the problems that come with change.
The third problem facing Queenstown locals is the emotional stance which says that exposing more land to develop housing is ruining the beauty of Queenstown. This is something that is a big fear of mine, that one day this town will turn into a concrete jungle. One of the things that needs to last is our outstanding landscape. Eventually, if we are not careful, all of the flat land left will be populated. This development needs to be carefully managed so that we will at least retain the beauty around Queenstown with the mountains and the lake.
These are interesting times for our area. Many people have concerns many people love our town.
By Charlie Hogan - Wakatipu High School Year 10 Student