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Major boost to Mackenzie Heritage Centre

Tuesday May 18th 2004

Major boost to Mackenzie Heritage Centre

Meridian Energy has joined the Founding Family of supporters for the Mackenzie Heritage Centre planned to be built at Lake Tekapo.

Mackenzie Heritage Centre Trust chairman Richard Stubbs says Meridian’s support will allow the next stage of the development to go ahead.

“Along with the University of Canterbury Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Wakefield Clinic, Meridian Energy is making it possible for us to move to the completion of a concept design for the exhibitions and the completion of the centre’s design,” Mr Stubbs says.

Meridian is a key player in the Mackenzie area with is hydro-electric power stations on the Upper Waitaki.

It has contributed $50,000 to assist with further development of the concept.

Mr Stubbs says the Mackenzie Heritage Centre will contribute to the region’s social, economic and cultural development, and become a major visitor attraction in the area.

“Sustainable tourism development in the Mackenzie is important and this project will cater for a wide range of the more than 1.2 million people who pass through the area in a year.

“Lake Tekapo is enjoying growing popularity and the centre will be a key part of the ongoing growth in the area. The centre, when built, will provide jobs both locally and indirectly in the area,” Mr Stubbs says.

Meridian chief executive Keith Turner says Meridian has a long involvement in the Mackenzie.

“This project has the potential to contribute to the sustainable development of the area and add to its economy, and our contribution will enable the investigations to be taken further. As the major corporate working in the area, we are impressed with the professionalism of the trust and the team it has pulled together to develop the centre,” Dr Turner says.

Local Mayor Stan Scorringe welcomes Meridian’s involvement in the project.

“The Mackenzie District Council has a focus on sustainable outcomes and community well-being. This project will meet those goals, and Meridian’s involvement reflects their commitment to these goals in our district.

“Tourism is an important industry in the Mackenzie, and the inspiring stories of the Mackenzie, as they will be told at the centre, are part of the heritage of the region and New Zealand,” Mr Scorringe says.

The District Council has made a grant of $75,000 to the project.

The project will cost $ 16.5 million to complete, and Mr Stubbs says there is still some serious fundraising ahead.

“We now have enough to complete the concepts for the building and the displays. With something more concrete to show potential partners we are positive the development will attract the financial support we need to get it built and operating,” Mr Stubbs says.

ENDS


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