Serious challenges for lakes district

The Mirror this week launches a new series looking at our community in the 21st century and beyond.

We live in a very special part of the world. It is part of why we choose to be here, and it is a very deliberate choice - high living costs mean the Wanaka area is not the easiest place to be.

But the benefits are enormous.

The environment is stunning and affords us the best of outdoor living.

Our flourishing tourism industry ensures we enjoy many of the benefits of a larger centre but still have the warmth of living in a small town, and because everyone who lives here chooses to be here, our communities are packed with driven and interesting people.

However, we face serious challenges in maintaining this.

Housing is at a premium, local councils are battling to deal with water supply, getting rid of water waste and dairying has seen much of our countryside change.

The Government's recently announced ambitious $41 billion tourism plan sounds great but what pressures will it bring?

Discussing climate change may make some people some people roll their eyes but it is a serious problem and threatens our survival in so many ways.

No one can afford to ignore these problems.

These are problems which are completely new to us as humans.

They are challenging but exciting dilemmas which have scientists and international organisations scratching their heads.

Our Government is grappling with everything from population shifts to rising sea levels and our local government talks about pipes, bridges and roads.

The only way to resolve so many of these issues is through ideas, and ideas are born of education and discussion.

The team at the Mirror are putting up our hands to be a part of that.

Already good work is underway, largely attributed to self-aware individuals and groups such as Shaping Our Future, which brings together strong voices and ideas.

We believe we can help by being a forum for the many voices in our communities who want to make a difference but don't know how, or have solutions but are having trouble being heard.

We want you to debate your ideas, let us know what you think and what worries you about the future.

Because we believe we can make a difference.What worries you about the future of your community?

Do you have solutions?

Are some problems too big?

Is the council on target?

Who do you want to hear from? Email us on

DEBBIE JAMIESON - Mirror Editor 

(Live Matches)