Adventure firms stump up for Memorial Hall

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Queenstown tourism firms are chipping in as pressure mounts to secure funding for a Memorial Hall upgrade. 

The Memorial Hall Trust behind the planned $3 million project needs a further $825,000 and awaits word on an 
$800,000 application to the Lotteries Commission, but is budgeting for a $225,000 shortfall. 

Skydive company NZONE and Ngai Tahu Tourism’s Shotover Jet, Dart River Jet Safaris and Hollyford Track Guided Walks are donating. NZONE has committed $5000. Ngai Tahu won’t specify exact amounts. 

Since launching a funding plea last week, trust chair Cath Gilmour says she’s also had a $5000 pledge from Dick and Diana Hubbard and $1000 from Lakes Marina Projects. A hall ball netted $25,000. 

Ngai Tahu Tourism southern region boss David Kennedy says the hall is the heart of the community. 

“We benefit commercially from events held there that bring people to town. It’s important to support its renovation. 

“It’s easier to take public infrastructure for granted and say someone else can pay for it but to fund this we need as many businesses and people as possible on board.” 

NZOne marketing boss Derek Melnick says: “If people can’t afford it, no one will cast a shadow on them. But if you’re in a position to, it’s worthwhile doing because it’s needed in town. 

“This could help tap into [conferences] that we sometimes don’t get as well as double as a well-used local facility.”