Queenstown employers in talks over housing crisis

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A number of leading Queenstown companies have joined forces to tackle the ongoing housing crisis as rising prices and fewer rentals continue to push many lower-paid workers out of the resort town.

Brian Howie, who represents the hotel sector for Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) confirmed this week that a group of Queenstown's larger employers were discussing solutions.

''I guess the concern is that we're going to head into another busy spring/summer/autumn period and there haven't been any fixes that are going to alleviate the problem,” he said.

''You look at developments out at Five Mile. There's now more businesses looking for more workers and I don't think there's any more accommodation. The problem is not going to get any easier.''

NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson told the Otago Daily Times that a ''handful'' of companies had met on numerous occasions to discuss worker housing with some developers involved.

''Most of us don't want to spend our own capital on building staff accommodation, but there are developers around who might,” he told the news outlet.

The accommodation woes have been worsened thanks to an unprecedented tourism boom and because sites such as Airbnb have reduced the number of available rentals.

Queenstown Council chief executive Mike Theelan agreed that employers may hold the solution to the current worker accommodation crisis.

"Obviously part of Queenstown's particular circumstances are simply on the basis of a very booming tourist industry,” he said.

"Traditionally some employers have provided accommodation - they may need to look at that in the future going forward."

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