Joseph Mooney - MP for Southland

3 minutes read
Posted 23 April, 2024
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Three recent major announcements from the Government are particularly positive for Queenstown and demonstrate our focus on delivering the change our community needs.

Firstly, inflation is down to 4 per cent. That’s the lowest it’s been since June 2021 and a far cry from the 7.3 per cent inflation Kiwis suffered through in 2022. This is encouraging news for Queenstown, but there is more to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track.

Before the election National promised $100 million over the next decade for roading in Queenstown if elected.  The coalition government has over-delivered on that promise already, with an additional $120 million of funding for the Queenstown Upgrade Project. Among other improvements, this project will upgrade Queenstown’s most important intersection in Frankton.

The $250 million confirmed by Transport Minister Simeon Brown is an important development for the 40,000 or so vehicles using the Frankton Intersection every day.

These upgrades will provide families and children who go to school in Queenstown with more travel choices by delivering an expanded bus hub, as well as allowing more room for ski bus operators in the winter.

This intersection is already at capacity at peak travel times, and something needs to be done to make it easier for people to drive, walk, cycle and for buses to move around the area. 

NZTA has prioritised construction of the works in Frankton, including installing traffic signals at the BP intersection, traffic-lights at Queenstown Event Centre, extending the bus hub and adding traffic signals at the entry and exit to make movement easier.  NZTA will also be installing new bus stops, adding cycle lanes, and creating shared use paths.  They will also be building a new roundabout at the Lake Hayes Estate intersection on Howards Drive and SH6.

Most of this work will be happening at one of the South Islands busiest intersections which has no viable detour, and will take longer than usual as NZTA must keep the intersection functioning with at least one-way traffic flow in each direction at all times during construction.  It also isn’t possible to surface or construct road pavements during the winter season in Queenstown from May to August, and night works are limited because the impact of continuous night works would adversely affect residents and businesses in the area.

However, it is important to note that there won’t be significant impacts on the state highway for the first 18 months of this programme.

Further detail on the project can be found in the “Queenstown Upgrade Project” section on NZTA’s website.

The population increase in Queenstown is quite phenomenal with the highest growth rate of any city in New Zealand.  Action is needed if we are to live in a liveable city, so I’m also pleased to see the recently announced amendments to the Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back into the long-term rental property market.

Council data shows some 27 per cent of dwellings in Queenstown are unoccupied, and we need to encourage owners into renting homes long-term.  Although some of those will always be holiday homes, we heard a clear message that owners weren’t renting out their houses long-term because the rules made it too hard for them to do so, and have changed the rules accordingly.

This Government is making positive changes to reduce inflation, get Queenstown moving, and address our housing challenges.

Queenstown is New Zealand’s fastest growing city which brings a number of exciting challenges, but what better part of the world to be in than here.


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