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October, 2019

Workers have broken ground on the installation of the new six-seat

Express Sugar Bowl Chairlift at The Remarkables Ski Area in Queenstown

late this month.

Part of a $17 million project, The Doppelmayr D-line high-speed chairlift

is the first of its kind in New Zealand bringing a new generation of

chairlift design and technology to the countrys ski industry.

The Remarkables Ski Area manager Ross Lawrence says hes excited the

project is underway and that guests will be able to take advantage of

new terrain and faster laps next season.

Weve moved the location of the Sugar Bowl lift creating a new

pathway up the mountain and opening up access to 2.5kms of brand-

new trails and the existing terrain parks.

The new lift will take guests from the base area and drop them off at

the top of the terrain parks in just four minutes. It will also open a

range of new terrain within the ski area that was previously tricky to

access. Its a whole new side of the mountain to explore.

NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson says the lift is coming at the

perfect time after record numbers at The Remarkables this year.

This development is another step in our plans to keep up with demand

and growth, and a key milestone in our ongoing commitment to offer

world-class facilities for our guests.

The Remarkables scheduled opening date for next season is June 6,

2020. Early-bird 3 peak season passes were on sale for $699 until

midnight, October 31, 2019.

Fast facts:

" Doppelmayr D-Line highspeed 6x seater chairlift

" Vertical rise of 258 metres

" Four minute ride from bottom to top

" Capacity to carry 2,400 passengers per hour

" 2.5km of new trails

" 28 new snow making guns and lances

" The old Sugar chairlift will be removed, and re-vegetation work

will be done to rehabilitate the landscape


A final milestones been reached in the development of Queenstowns

massive Shotover Country subdivision.

The last of its 810 residential lots went unconditional this month.

Its a major achievement for principal developers Sharyn and Grant

Stalker, whose main aim was to fill pent-up demand for locals,

particularly families, to get their feet on the property ladder.

That demand was proven time and again by how quickly various stages

sold out.

Remarkably, however, it took the couple five years to rezone their 202

hectares from rural to residential.

Theyre indebted to lawyer Warwick Goldsmith and planner/surveyor

Neil McDonald for their help in getting the plan change through.

They believed in the project when the council didnt support it, Grant


Four months after the plan change became operative in December,

2012, the first titles were issued.

The average section sale price then was $158,000, compared to

$420,000 now, giving early buyers, in particular, good capital gains 

houses now routinely sell for about $1 million.

Grant says the market, in the form of resales, effectively set successive

price levels for the 20-plus stages.

Section sizes ranged, mostly, from 450 square metres to 960sqm.

Unusually, the entire subdivision was sold by the developers themselves.

Sharyn says they quizzed all prospective buyers about their

circumstances and their intentions to build  land investors were ruled


Their guess is that 80 per cent of sections have been bought by

prospective owner-occupiers, and the balance by investors whove built


Grants surprised how many buyers have added one- or two-bedroom

granny flats, which theyve rented out to assist their mortgage


Airbnb, on the other hand, isnt allowed in the later stages of Shotover


One of the biggest buying triggers, the couple believe, has been

Shotover Primary School, which they lobbied hard for.

Its become a community hub and its rapid growth has been exciting to

see, Sharyn says.

The Stalkers personally helped the school over its first five years, and

Sharyn still supports its music room, called Sharis Music Suite.

They also gifted three hectares of reserve land which has been

developed into a multi-purpose sportsfield for school and community


Sharyns also played a major role in landscaping the subdivision, and

with ongoing maintenance, even if its now councils responsibility.

As part of the plan change, land was also gifted for a 44-home

affordable housing development undertaken by the Queenstown Lakes

Community Housing Trust.

Shotover Country still has land set aside for commercial and medium-

density unit development, which the Stalkers son Kristan will start next

year  its in the final stages of the consenting process, Grant says.

The couple earlier called for expressions of interest for a commercial

development, but they found limited demand, possibly due to the

volume of activity on the Frankton Flats.

We appreciate the people and families who took advantage of

opportunity, risk and rewards to purchase Shotover Country lots and

helped make the community it is today, the Stalkers say.

We are only sorry we couldnt meet the demand of all interested

parties, as the numbers on our database continued to grow.

Source: Mountain Scene


ASBs chief economist says the country needs to focus on how we build

houses to make them more affordable long-term.

Speaking to delegates at the 2019 Architectural Design New Zealand

conference in Queenstown on Friday, Nick Tuffley said the need to build

homes faster, more effectively and cheaper remains very, very strong.

Its one of the things, I think, under the new Government we are

seeing a lot more of a push into being a lot more open, a lot more

innovative in trying to figure out how we can support ways of building

smarter and cheaper.

But when were looking long-term, how do we make housing more


Theres a lot of structural changes that weve started looking at

harder, but we need to focus on going forward around how we build.

Other issues to be examined in closer detail included zoning, land-use

regulations and red tape, he says.

We probably do need to have a look at our regulation and also the

length of time it can take to get projects through, because uncertainty

means risk.

Tuffley expects population growth through immigration to hold up over

a good year and slow, gradually, over time.

That means the country still needs to meet the housing needs of a

fairly fast-growing population.

New Zealands also entering new, unknown, territory where the

official cash rates now down to 1% and expected to fall to 0.5% by early

next year.

Thats caused substantial falls in floating and fixed-term interest rates,

which has changed affordability for households.

Mortgage rates were about 3.5%  the lowest since at least the early

60s  the effective mortgage rate has dropped like a stone and the

collective amount of income going towards servicing mortgages is

really, really low.

From a financial perspective, housing affordability has been getting a

little bit better recently and thats because of these dramatic drops in

interest rates.

We do think with interest rates falling we will get a little bit of a

second wind in the housing market, or a third or a fourth wind in some


He expects the Wellington market to pick up and Hawkes Bay, Dunedin

and Southland to continue the strong run, and Auckland might have

some price lifts, which is a catch 22 for affordability.

We want prices to be going up at a slower pace than peoples incomes

so that their incomes can buy a bigger house, or buy & a house.

Affordability is changing because house prices have been flat to down

and incomes have been creeping up.

Were in an environment where, from a financial point of view, its

getting slightly easier to afford a house, much of that because house

prices have stopped galloping up, but also because interest rates have

fallen and are likely to remain down for some time as well.

Source: Otago Daily Times

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