A district park manager's role has been disestablished amid a behind-the-scenes camping-ground management shake-up in Queenstown.
Queenstown Lakes District Council is the owner-operator of Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park and the Arrowtown, Albert Town, Glendhu Bay and Wanaka campgrounds.
Council chief executive Adam Feeley announced a comprehensive cost-cutting review in December and, in March, the council resolved not to run campgrounds in direct competition with the private sector or subsidise sites with rates.
The Southland Times understands district parks manager Greg Hartshorne's position was disestablished. The campground manager for almost 20 years could not be reached for comment.
It is not clear whether other campground jobs were disestablished or if there had been any changes to the staff complement.
A Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park employee said Mr Hartshorne was no longer working and referred inquiries to private operator Erna Spijkerbosch, who runs Creeksyde Queenstown Holiday Park, but she said the best person to talk to was Mr Feeley.
Mr Feeley, in an email, said there were no changes to ownership of any district camping grounds and discussions were related to a management contract.
If discussions concluded successfully, the council would retain ownership of the campgrounds "for the time being."
He said there was no change to the management structure yet but this was anticipated in the very near future.
Mr Feeley said he was unable to comment on Mr Hartshorne's exit or how his role was being restructured.
"A commercially confidential report was provided to council last month on options for negotiating a management contract with two preferred parties," Mr Feeley said.
"Council delegated authority to the chief executive to conclude an agreement with one of the two preferred parties. This process is currently being concluded."
The Southland Times understands the preferred party, if pre-contract negotiations succeed, will manage the district's five campgrounds.
The last comprehensive review of district campgrounds was more than six years ago.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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