Continuing Haast Road closures, triggered by heavy rains, saturated soil and unstable rock, are having a definite effect on Wanaka's tourism-orientated economy, two Wanaka-based district councillors say.
Queenstown Lakes District deputy mayor Lyal Cocks and Wanaka ward councillor Leigh Overton revealed the impact the roading situation is causing at yesterday's full and final meeting of the pre-election council, held in Wanaka.
"The situation has had a definite effect on Wanaka business, to the effect, where because of the slips and unstableness of the roads, and the lack of certain access from the West Coast, garages aren't selling as much fuel," Mr Overton said.
However, fuel sales were just one symptom of the continuing roading dilemma, Mr Cocks said.
"The impact is making itself felt by Lake Wanaka Tourism, who have had to change their marketing strategy to suit travel wholesalers. Inbound tourism operators are now putting tour groups through Dunedin and into Queenstown."
The council's infrastructure division would be meeting the New Zealand Transport Agency to go over the latest geotechnic surveys the agency had carried out.
Delays are still sign-posted on State Highway 6 at the Gates of Haast to Haast Pass, because of rockfalls.
Family members of Canadians Connor Hayes, 25, and Joanna Lam, 24 left Haast yesterday. The couple were killed when a massive landslide enveloped their campervan near the Gates of Haast on September 10.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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