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HomeGeneral TourismRelease of Wanaka Airport lease ‘cynical, election point-scoring move’

Release of Wanaka Airport lease ‘cynical, election point-scoring move’

Wanaka Stakeholders Group Inc. chair, Michael Ross, reacted to Mayor Boult's announcement at a political event earlier this week that he'd be releasing the 100 year lease over Wanaka Airport on Tuesday and its release late Tuesday afternoon via the media, by saying "this is just too little, too late".

"This appears to be a cynical and calculated move by the Mayor to score points at the 11th hour in the election," says Michael.

"We have been asking for months for many details which the community should have access to, and the lease is only one of these numerous items.

"We have been very clear and very public about what we are asking the Council to release – there is absolutely no room for confusion about this. Whilst the lease itself is a start, there is still a great deal of missing information which has been deliberately withheld from the community, despite numerous requests. All of that would need to be released for us to be even close to comfortable that we are getting anything like the transparency the Upper Clutha community deserves.

"The Mayor should not use release of a single element of the information, whilst a plethora of relevant information remains conveniently concealed from public scrutiny, as some sort of victory for local democracy. It's actually the opposite of that – it shows that he thinks he can keep the public "happy" by releasing one morsel," he says.

"The revelations flowing from the recent release of a handful of emails under the Local Government Official Information Act shows that there is a lot more to this than QLDC are letting on. QLDC is now buying time in answering further requests from Ms Gladding about those emails until the election has passed. That's hardly indicative of transparency."

Michael says that the group's legal team would review the lease but "in isolation and without details of side agreements" it is close to meaningless.

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