It is not every day that you see a Salvation Army corps officer jumping out of a plane dressed as a farm animal, but it’s all part of an effort to highlight a serious issue that is leaving hundreds of people in the Queenstown area struggling financially.
The ‘#peepsnotsheeps’ campaign is calling for a review of Whakatipu’s Accommodation Supplement Areas which relies on urban boundary data that hasn’t changed in 30 years.
As things stand, some built-up areas of Queenstown and surrounds are still classed as ‘farmland’ for Accommodation Supplement purposes. This reflects the situation in 1992 before housing development took place and means that residents in those areas do not receive the full supplement.
For a family with one or more children, the difference can be a loss of $185 each week, while a single person may miss out on $95 a week.
It’s estimated that more than 700 people are being unfairly affected by the outdated zoning rules.
Salvation Army Corps Officer Captain Andrew Wilson, Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult, and Southland MP Joseph Mooney teamed up to support the campaign, which saw them skydiving on 4 October onto a field in one of the built-up areas that is still zoned as ‘farmland’.
The campaign includes an online petition to Parliament.
Sign the petition here: https://www.parliament.nz/en/petitions/sign/PET_126092
Link to Otago Daily Times story with video:https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/queenstown/group-protests-disparity-accommodation-supplement
Stock Photo by Kamil Pietrzak on Unsplash