This newsletter is intended to keep all interested parties informed of news and initiatives associated with the Clutha River Parkway project. We are working to establish NZís largest river park along the entire Clutha River corridor from Wanaka to the sea.
Following a funding application made to the Sustainable Management Fund in November, the Fundís General Manager, Corporate and Community, Fiona Morgan, has confirmed that the Ministry is interested in funding the project. A site visit/meeting has been scheduled for late January.
In the meantime, the Clutha River Parkway Steering Group has asked the Central Lakes Trust for a three-month uplift deferment on $100,000 already granted, effective from December 20.
If the Ministry decides to contribute, and the Central Lakes Trust funding uplift is deferred into the New Year, the Steering Group will have secured adequate start-up funding and will commence work immediately.
Wanted: Project Manager:
We have already been searching for a Project Manager but have not yet advertised this position publicly. A draft of the Project Managerís Brief is available here.
The Big River Town, otherwise known as Balclutha, is in the midst of a number of revitalization projects including riverbank and walkway improvements. We have been liasing with Community Co-ordinator, Irene Mosley.
Some of the most beautiful and unique sections of the Clutha River corridor are within the Balclutha District Council's governance. The native bush-lined Rongahere Gorge, with the ecological important Birch Island, are examples of areas of particular significance. The Balclutha District Council, and the people of the district, are keen to improve access to, and the natural values of, the Clutha River corridor. We are hoping that the Blair Athol Walkway and the Millenium Walkway (which extends to the river mouth) will become part of the Clutha River Parkway Trail from Wanaka to the sea.
In the shorter term we are hoping to obtain images of the Lower Clutha to include on our Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway website gallery of river corridor scenes.
Fox Rock An "Aberration"
The application by Fox Rock for a 52-lot leasehold development beside the Clutha River, adjacent the Wanaka Airport, was described as "an aberration" at the hearing on November 22nd, heard by Commissioner Michael Parker. A total of 40 submissions were received, all against the development, which seeks to circumvent a covenant over the site. CivicCorp surprised submitters by recommending that the application be granted, despite opposition from the QLDC. Commissioner Michael Parker heard evidence against the development from the QLDC, the Wanaka Airport, the Clutha River Parkway Steering Group, and others.
If this development is granted, even with mitigating conditions, it will give developers throughout the region the green light to proceed with similar leasehold developments that fall outside the legal definition of a subdivision. Further, the outstanding natural values of the Upper Clutha River corridor will be severely degraded, and the Wanaka Airport will face serious future development constraints. We can only hope that the QLDC will act decisively to protect the interests of the region, the Wanaka Airport and community, and the integrity of the river corridor.
Steering Group Meeting:
The next Clutha River Parkway Steering Group meeting will be in early February. The date is yet to be finalized.
Please contact us for other Parkway news, by clicking here.
Sustainable Management Fund
The Clutha River Parkway Steering Group has applied to the Sustainable Management Fund for the balance of the project's start-up funding. The Central Lakes Trust has already granted $100,000 towards the project, and further funds are required before the Steering Group can contract a Project Manager.
Balclutha "The Big River Town"