MartinJenkins airport impact assessment report

Queenstown Lakes District Council website, 15 June 2020

Here is the 236-page socio-economic report on Queenstown Lake District’s airport infrastructure, which ratepayers paid Auckland-based consultants MartinJenkins $200,000 plus to research and write.

It would, we were told in an August ‘19 speech by Mayor Jim Boult to kick the divisive political issue down the road beyond the election, inform Queenstown Airport Corporation’s statement of intent and council decisions on airport growth.  It was due early March.

We Love Wakatipu Inc – and others – raised serious concerns about MartinJenkins’ research methodology, robustness and independence (their 2018 tourism report for QLDC stated airport investment was necessary), and council’s governance (or lack thereof) on the matter.  These concerns were not mitigated.

But we still encouraged members to respond as the council had so far ignored unequivocal community feedback to QAC’s plans (92.5% of submissions opposing) and so, although fundamentally flawed, this was our opportunity for input.

What did we want from this report?

  • Data driven, robust, transparent and objective analysis of our communities’ views of the social impact of QAC growth scenarios.
  • Similarly, robust cost-benefit analysis of the four “hypothetical” scenarios (remember there has been zero such analysis of QAC’s preferred strategy, by QAC or QLDC).
  • Mayor Boult’s pre-election promised environmental assessment.
  • Robust and well-grounded post-Covid updating.

Did we get it? We have not yet had time to read and analyse its content. We would welcome your comments.

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