Is Council spending $100 million on a Council office?

    No.  Any reporting of a $100 million dollar “Council Headquarters” is inaccurate.

    The estimated cost of the civic administration building (in today’s dollars) is $51 million. This building will house Whakatipu-based Council staff and an interim library. 

    There is no agreement in place but under the proposed Joint Venture model, Ngāi Tahu Property would contribute approximately $20 million towards the construction of the building.  That means the direct, upfront cost to Council would be approximately $31 million.  

    These figures are estimates as at June 2023. They are also subject to the 2024-2034 Long Term Plan process, detailed design of the building, finalisation of a development agreement with Ngāi Tahu Property and final approvals by the full Council.   

    What are the benefits of a cultural and civic heart in the Queenstown Town Centre?

    Over the long term, Project Manawa will provide a strong community and civic presence in the heart of Queenstown.  When towns and cities have thriving civic spaces, residents have a stronger sense of community and connection.  The location of the civic administration building (CAB) provides an opportunity to enhance participation in community and democratic functions, within a wider civic and cultural hub.  

    Manawa also proposes a public transport hub which will make the area more accessible and create safer opportunities for walking and cycling.  

    What are the benefits of the preferred land strategy and joint venture model being proposed?

    The preferred options proposed in the current consultation provide for an ‘all of precinct’ approach to the development and have financial benefits.  

    The proposed land exchanges mean the underlying land status would better suit the proposed future use (i.e. commercial buildings on freehold land, community/cultural buildings on reserve land).  This will also enable funding through private investment in appropriate commercial activities, providing QLDC potential future land sale revenue at market value (over parts of the Stanley Street site land).   

    The proposed joint venture (JV) arrangements would see QLDC and Ngāi Tahu Property (NTP) working together to create the freehold land the CAB would sit on in a joint ownership structure (50/50) and neither party having to acquire an interest in the land.  This brings down the overall development cost for the JV.  QLDC can also generate additional land sale revenue from vacating the existing Gorge Road building and selling that land

    The proposed JV arrangements and potential future land sale revenue make delivery of the CAB on the Stanley Street site a more affordable option for QLDC than an equivalent new building option in either Queenstown or Frankton, and ‘on par’ with the baseline cost of the current approach with multiple leased premises, when assessing QLDC’s future rental liability over a 30 year period.

    This opportunity on the Stanley Street site with Ngāi Tahu Property cannot be achieved by QLDC acting alone or with another third party (other than Ngāi Tahu Property), as the full development potential of the land i.e. commercial activities would be restricted by the reserve status and Kāi Tahu land interests in the site.

    This is outlined in more detail within the Statement of Proposal.

    Why does QLDC even need a new office?

    QLDC's current office accommodation is not fit for purpose. It is split across several locations which creates inefficiencies and confusion for customers.  A one office solution would mean all customer-facing activities could be in one location, providing a much more seamless experience for our customers.   It would allow for improved collaboration, productivity and wellbeing among staff, which we believe will ultimately benefit the community engaging with us.

    Wouldn’t it be better and cheaper to have these facilities in Frankton?

    It wouldn’t necessarily be cheaper because QLDC would have to purchase suitable land to construct this type of facility.  Construction costs between Frankton and Queenstown would not be materially different.  The benefit of a town centre location is that QLDC already administers the land earmarked for the CAB and it strengthens the sense of community and connection within central Queenstown and can act as a stimulus for future community assets on the Stanley Street site land (subject to consultation and Council approval).  

    If the CAB is constructed on the Stanley Street site under the Joint Venture model, it would significantly reduce the upfront capital cost for QLDC as Ngāi Tahu Property would contribute 50% of the base construction cost.  

    Why is QLDC proposing this now when there are so many other priorities to focus on, like water infrastructure?

    The existing office accommodation is not fit for purpose. It is split across several locations which creates inefficiencies and confusion for customers and those trying to engage with QLDC via meetings or hearings.   

    The broader Project Manawa is a long-term vision and would be delivered over time, as funding allows.  The priority investment for the proposed wider precinct development is the CAB which will deliver an enhanced service to the community.  The proposed JV enables QLDC to deliver this at an affordable cost.  More broadly, QLDC is committed to delivering quality infrastructure, investing heavily in roading and three water infrastructure projects right across the district.  

    Why is this consultation process so focused on technical matters? How can I provide meaningful feedback?

    The consultation process happening now is required to enable the current and future Council to make decisions on the project.   While technical, these are important foundational steps towards getting the best outcome for the land and proceeding with the CAB in a financially beneficial way.