An Italian shipping and livestock magnate who owns property near Lake Hayes has granted $45,000 to the Wakatipu Trails Trust.
Italian Mauro Balzarini made the offer when seeking Overseas Investment Office approval to buy a 4.5ha property near Lake Hayes for $975,000. The Lake Hayes spread is beside a 7.4ha block and house that he bought for $5.5 million last year.
Balzarini’s family-owned international business, Wellard Group Holdings Pty Ltd, is Australia’s largest livestock exporter.
“A little bit of my style is to interact with a community I like,” he tells Mountain Scene.
“I like walking, running and biking, so I’m also investing in myself.”
Balzarini is also a former professional motorcycle enduro rider.
The Wakatipu Trails Trust is seeking about $3 million to develop the 99km Queenstown Trail, which will expand to Gibbston and Arrowtown. That’s on top of a $1.83m grant it received from the Government this month as part of its national cycle trail project.
So far the trust’s raised about $350,000, its chief executive Kaye Parker says.
Parker’s delighted with Balzarini’s donation.
“He’s so community-minded, and wants to keep on helping.
Stages of the trail are being built as extra money is raised, Parker says.