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Energy’s canal roads become international location

Media Release
For immediate release: 5 December 2003

Meridian Energy’s canal roads become international location

Meridian Energy’s canal roads in the Mackenzie Basin are growing increasingly popular with international film crews, to the benefit of local communities.

The roads, which are owned and maintained by Meridian Energy, run alongside the canals linking Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau. The most popular location with the film companies is the Tekapo B headworks area on the Tekapo canal road, which overlooks Lake Pukaki. Due to the height of the headworks, a magnificent backdrop featuring Mount Cook is provided.

Over the last two years a growing number of both still photographers and film companies have been using the roads. The roads featured in advertisements for the BMW X5 and were used last Friday by AJ Films Limited for a Mercedes Benz photo shoot.

AJ Films spokesperson Amanda Jenkins says the area offers a great outlook.

“It’s a location where the beauty of the landscape and the beauty of the car is paralleled,” says Amanda Jenkins.

Meridian Energy spokesperson Alan Seay agrees.

“When travelling along the roads you have the sparkling blue canal on one side, wild tussock on the other and in the background, the amazing sight of Aoraki Mount Cook. It is no wonder our roads are so popular,” says Alan Seay.

As well as adding to New Zealand’s overseas profile, the filming also provides benefits for the local community, as Meridian Energy donates the fee the companies pay to use the roads to local community groups.

Last year, groups such as local kindergartens, Lions Clubs, schools and emergency services received approximately $4000 from filming on canal roads. So far this year, $3750 has been donated to local groups.

In April this year, the Omarama High Country Fire Team received $1000 of funding, as a result of filming on the canal roads.

“We didn’t ask for any money so we were really taken aback when Meridian rang and offered it to us completely out of the blue,” says Rural Fire Officer Lex Perriam.

The Omarama High Country Fire Team, which is made up of volunteers and receives no set funding, works with groups such as Search and Rescue, Civil Defence and other emergency services. The Fire Team has spent Meridian Energy’s $1000 donation on purchasing eight new radios.

“Meridian Energy’s funding has meant that now every member of our team has a personal radio. This will greatly increase the effectiveness of our group and the safety of our volunteers,” says Lex Perriam.

“The local community are very proud of the great resource we have in the Mackenzie Basin and they do a wonderful job in keeping the area beautiful. We are pleased to be able to thank the community by giving their local groups this additional support,” says Alan Seay.


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