Consultation begins on Project Manawa

3 minutes read
Posted 13 November, 2023

Consultation starts today on proposed foundational steps to enable Project Manawa; a long-term vision for community and cultural facilities in the heart of Tāhuna Queenstown.

Project Manawa, if fully realised, could deliver a range of facilities on the large central Queenstown Stanley Street site. Over time these could include community and arts spaces, a purpose-built library, a performing and visual arts centre, a town square, commercial buildings and improved opportunities for public transport, along with a civic administration building.  

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Glyn Lewers said, the Stanley Street site has long been a topic of conversation locally, having been identified in the Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan as an appropriate location for a comprehensive community heart precinct in 2017.

“The consultation starting today continues the kōrero and covers two topics. Proposed land exchanges to optimise the future potential of the site and proposed joint venture arrangements with Ngāi Tahu Property to develop and own the civic administration building,” he said.  

“I really encourage everyone to take some time to consider the proposals.  This is a significant, long-term opportunity to take further steps towards creating a place that celebrates and connects our culture, heritage and community to showcase it to our domestic and international visitors,” he said.  

“This process will help shape the next steps but it’s important to note that any decision to implement the project in the future will still require Council decision making,” he said.  

QLDC Strategic Project Manager Paul Speedy further described the consultation topics.  

“The current status of the land making up the Stanley Street site means it’s difficult to achieve the best outcome for the community.  Changes to the underlying land interests are proposed to provide the foundation and options for Council to progress with the first stages of the project,” he said. 

“Two options have been proposed, requiring land exchanges and changes to the status of land parcels within the site.  The intention is twofold:  firstly, to create an arts and community precinct on QLDC administered reserve land at the heart of the site; secondly to create future freehold land development opportunities, including the development of an administration building, surrounding the precinct,” Mr Speedy said. 

Mr Speedy said a second key move to enable Project Manawa involves further consideration of an opportunity to jointly develop the civic administration building with Ngāi Tahu Property.  

“While the terms of any joint venture arrangements for delivery of this building have not been agreed, Council’s feasibility work assumes it could be jointly owned and developed by QLDC and Ngāi Tahu Property on a 50/50 basis, requiring the creation of a Council Controlled Organisation,” Mr Speedy said. 

“The creation of a CCO requires public consultation under the Local Government Act 2002, therefore forms part of our current process.  However, any further decision making would be subject to the outcomes of this consultation, detailed negotiations with Ngāi Tahu Property on the terms and finally, a Council resolution. 

“This proposal, if it proceeds, would unlock opportunities on the site to develop other community facilities, public spaces and commercial buildings over the longer term in an integrated way that would not be possible as a development led only by Council.  It also recognises the cultural connection with mana whenua and further builds on the partnership relationship,” he said.   

A statement of proposal, which summarises the consultation topics and proposed options, can be read online at or collected from any Council office, library or recreation centre.    

Further information, including details of in-person opportunities to discuss the proposals, can be found at  

Submissions close on 17 December 2023, with hearings expected to be held early in 2024. 


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