The Wakatipu Basin

The Wakatipu Basin, Frankton especially, is a place of change. Frankton has always been the hub of Wakatipu Basin.  From its founding to the present time it has always been the subject of change. In this article I will be informing you of the problems that we face, possible opportunities and ways of tackling these problems in the not too distant future.

One of the first problems is the issue of overpopulation. Thousands of tourists visit here annually but we don’t have the appropriate infrastructure. Thus there is a difficulty, because we cannot support the amount of tourists in addition to the growing amount of local people who also live here. And if this issue continues, the residents will feel the full force of this issue head on.

Another issue we face is the traffic issue. As all residents of the Wakatipu Basin are aware that this is a huge problem. It usually takes a good forty-five minutes to get from Arrowtown to Queenstown or Frankton. Constant road works only add further delays to the busy lives of citizens as we sit in bumper to bumper traffic. Anyone with eyes can tell you the stretch of road from the airport to the roundabout intersection is pushed to the limit.

House prices are also a difficulty. In the past twenty years house prices have increased tremendously. In Arrowtown for example, average prices are around $1,500,000. That is a huge amount. If you do the calculations if you earn around fifteen dollars an hour and the house cost is around $1,200,000, it would take you a total of EIGHTY THOUSAND hours to get enough money. That is a huge amount of time. And that is frankly ridiculous.

A issue that is neglected is income mobility. What income mobility is is how people can get stuck down here because of how expensive it is and they are unable to afford to go to University.They are stuck due to being unable to afford other opportunities and this can sometimes last a lifetime. This will affect my generation more than it has impacted any other generation.

Out of everything I have written there is one pattern. Problems are all directly or indirectly the result of the high amounts of tourism. I am not saying that tourism is a bad thing but it should not be our main source of industry. First it is unreliable. What I mean by that if there is bad weather one season our economy hurts. What we need to do is diversify our industry by encouraging entrepreneurship and a variety of businesses. It always comes to that old saying, don't put all of your eggs in one basket.

Robert Graham - Wakatipu High School Year 10 Student