The village of Cardrona is located on the Crown Range / Cardrona Valley Road, with Queenstown to the southwest and Wanaka to the north–east. Cardrona currently has a permanent population of approximately 60 residents and a peak population that occurs during wintertime. However, the population is predicted to increase dramatically over the next 20 years as the area is experiencing growth.
Due to the absence of any publicly owned utilities serving the area, developers have so far been providing their own wastewater and water supply systems.
In recent years Cardrona has experienced two Norovirus outbreaks, thought to be caused by sewage contamination of drinking water. This reignited discussion regarding the need for a community wastewater system controlled by Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC). Previous engineering reports had failed to gain traction, so this project was given a fresh look as part of QLDC’s Long Term Plan 2015-25.
NZ Treasury’s National Infrastructure Unit (NIU) launched the ‘Better Business Cases’ (BBC) approach as a way to enable better informed decisions on public investments and to achieve the government's infrastructure objectives by 2030.
To show leadership in this area, QLDC sought early adoption of the BBC approach in revisiting this project.