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Thursday, 29 September 2022

Mayor Boult lends support to Accommodation Subsidy campaign

Mayor Jim Boult is lending his personal support to local community campaign ‘Peeps not Sheeps’.

Jim Boult with chains 2020

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said the fact that hundreds of Queenstown residents are unable to apply for the government’s Accommodation Subsidy because their homes are still classed as being on farmland is “farcical”.

He is lending his personal support to local community campaign ‘Peeps not Sheeps’. The campaign is calling for people to sign and share a petition asking the government to amend legislation basing eligibility for the supplement to reflect the most recent population statistics.

“The current zoning is based on 1992 boundaries and I don’t need to remind anyone how much the district has changed since then,” he said.

“At a time of rising living costs it is simply not acceptable that folk who really need financial assistance are unable to get it because of 30-year-old data.”

Mayor Boult noted that local social services are seeing real negative impacts on wellbeing as a result and shares the campaign’s view that the schedule should be amended to ensure area boundaries remain equitable and fit for purpose.

“Hats off to Andrew Wilson of Salvation Army Queenstown for putting his name to the petition and to everyone else involved in drawing the public’s attention to this farcical situation.”

“We have nearly 100 signatures so far but we’re looking for 500 or more. Andrew, our local MP Joseph Mooney and I will prove our commitment to the cause by jumping out of an aeroplane from 10,000 feet before my last day as Mayor next week. In keeping with the campaign theme I’ll be wearing a sheep costume but, to the possible disappointment of a few folk, I’ll also be wearing a parachute!”

Anyone wanting more information about the ‘Peeps not Sheeps’ campaign and lend their support can join the Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/accommodationsubsidy

The petition itself can be found at https://www.bit.ly/3LQN7EQ

ENDS|KUA MUTU.

Media contact: communications@qldc.govt.nz or call 03 441 1802.