Pak 'n Saviour
An ex-high level Queenstown council boss has changed sides and is fighting the council's decision to block a $30 million Pak 'n Save supermarket and discount fuel outlet from setting up on the Frankton Flats.
Former Queenstown Lakes District Council's manager of regulatory and corporate services Roger Taylor now says the basis for council's opposition was flawed and the council should not be standing in the way of an anticipated $50 million cash injection into the community.
Mr Taylor lost his job with the council under the this year's large-scale restructuring, but was an adviser on the council's stance on whether the budget supermarket should be allowed to build on a prime 2.2 hectare site near Glenda Drive zoned for industrial use.
The council's position has been that industrial zoned land was needed to cater for Queenstown's growing population base and that the supermarket could be built on alternative land owned by Remarkables Park - something Pak 'n Save owner Foodstuffs South Island has fiercely resisted.
However, Mr Taylor has now come out in support of the supermarket setting up near Glenda Drive, saying key reports and calculations the council based its stance on are ''flawed''.
''The council has used a document created in 2006 - Commercial Land Needs - as the basis for making some big decisions in 2012 and 2013 which affect Queenstown's economic growth, and the world is a much different place than it was in 2006,'' Mr Taylor told the Mirror.
''Since the time that report was written we've had the global financial crisis and recession which has hit the New Zealand economy hard, and that has affected Queenstown's growth rate. The growth rates that underlie the Commercial Land Needs report don't exist and aren't likely to be achieved any time soon, and it would follow that we don't need large sections of the Frankton Flats quarantined off for industrial use.''
Mr Taylor said he had no animosity towards the council, but simply had Queenstown's best interest at heart, and wanted to see it blossom.
Not allowing Pak 'n Save and a proposed $20 million Mitre 10 Mega Store, which would be built next to the supermarket, meant the Queenstown construction industry would miss a $50 million cash injection.
''As well as the huge construction boost, hundreds of full and part-time jobs would be created when the stores opened, and people from all around the district would have cheaper shopping prices.''
All these things would be great for Queenstown.''
Mr Taylor is now a ''very happily''self-employed business consultant.
The council recently called for public submissions on whether the proposed Pak 'n Save should be granted resource consent.
Of the 73 submissions received, 71 were in support, including Mr Taylor's. Opposing were David Warrington and Queenstown Central Ltd, who also have large scale retail development interests in the Frankton Flats.
Foodstuffs South Island general manager of property and retail development Roger Davidson said he hoped the end-game of the saga was playing out now.
''It has been a long and frustrating process trying to bring Pak 'n Save to the residents of Central Otago, but we are really encouraged by the level of support we have received from the community.Hopefully the wait is almost over and the objective of bringing lower grocery prices to the region is nearly here.''
Pre-Christmas hearings due to follow the consultation process were last week shelved until early in 2014
- The Mirror