Three waterfront businesses face closure

Wanaka owner makes emotional plea

CHE BAKER
Last updated 05:00 30/04/2014
Southland Times photo
CHE BAKER/Fairfax NZ
Wanaka businessman Simon Stewart.
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Poll: Wanaka businessman Simon Stewart says up to five jobs could be lost if he loses his lease to trade from a log cabin based on the waterfront of Lake Wanaka.

Stewart runs three businesses, Clutha River Jet Boats, Lake Wanaka Cruises and Lakeland Adventures, at the cabin he owns on land leased from the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

It has been the focal point for eight of the 10 years he has been in business.

However, a recommendation in the draft Wanaka Lakefront Reserves Management Plan was that commercial facilities be removed from reserve land at Roys Bay when their leases expire.

Stewart's lease expires in 2017.

News of the recommendation came out of the blue, he said.

Stewart believed that if his building had to be moved he would not be able to run most parts of the businesses and five jobs were on the line.

"It's like someone cutting your business in half.

"How do you operate if you don't have a base?

"If there's not enough support for it, it won't be here in 2017. They [Wanaka residents] need to realise Wanaka could lose something," he said.

At a Wanaka Community Board meeting yesterday, Stewart raised his concerns during a public forum.

"I'm a bit emotional . . . I am pleading. I want to continue there.

"If we lose that building, I might as well pack up and go. I have a lot to lose being the only business on the foreshore."

Board chairwoman Rachel Brown said Stewart needed to get as much support as he could and make a submission on the plan.

Submissions close on June 6.

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