Mount Iron Acquisition

Council has reached an agreement to purchase nearly 100 hectares of land around Mount Iron and Little Mount Iron in Wānaka.

Consent process Public access Next steps Get regular updates Newsletters

About the acquisition

Mount Iron is an iconic landmark in the Upper Clutha. Approximately 2km from the town centre, it offers panoramic views of Wānaka and its surrounds, and is arguably one of the most popular walking tracks in the Upper Clutha with over 150,000 visitors heading up the Mount Iron slopes each year.

In December 2021, Queenstown Lakes District Council reached an agreement to purchase nearly 100ha of land around Mount Iron and Little Mount Iron in Wānaka. While there will be no immediate changes to public use, Council plans to work closely with the local community, Iwi and the Department of Conservation on plans for Mount Iron’s long-term future, acting as kaitiaki and holding the land as public reserve in perpetuity on its behalf.

However, before QLDC can acquire this land, we first have to gain resource consent for vegetation clearance, and approval to acquire and classify the area as Recreation Reserve. We hope to have consent granted by the end of 2022.

The consent process

Council has until 8 November 2022 to gain all necessary consents to facilitate the purchase of the Mount Iron and Little Mount Iron areas, which includes:

  • Resource consent for vegetation clearance, to allow for a safety fence to be installed

  • Public Works Act approval to acquire and classify the area as 'Recreation Reserve'

Settlement may take six months following the granting of consents, with a tentative date of May 2023.

Public access

While the acquisition is underway, large parts of land on Mount Iron and Little Mount Iron remain privately owned. If you're using the public walking track from either side of Mount Iron to scale the summit, please stick to the track and abide by signage along the way identifying where private property begins.

Next steps

If resource consent is granted, a small section of new fencing will be installed on the north-western side Mount Iron where it borders private property.

Community feedback

As we get closer to acquiring the Mount Iron and Little Mount Iron land, QLDC will be asking for community feedback on what our community would like to see in the new Recreation Reserve. We’re hoping to engage on plans for the Mount Iron Recreation Reserve in the early stages of 2023, provided consent is granted.

Get regular updates

If you'd like to be kept up to date with the latest information on how Council's acquisition of Mount Iron is proceeding, we've created a newsletter to share information on the project every six weeks.

Subscribe below to receive this update directly to your inbox!

The first edition of this newsletter will be sent on Monday 11 April 2022.

Wildfire risk

Council continues to work with the Mt Iron Wildfire Risk Reduction project, a multi-agency partnership between Fire Emergency New Zealand, Emergency Management Otago, QLDC, Department of Conservation, SCION and the Mt Iron Community Response Group. We hope to share some updates on the project in the near future.

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