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Roof on New Multi-Million Dollar Glacier Centre

Media Release for immediate use, 19 September 2006

Roof Goes on New Multi-Million Dollar South Island Glacier Centre

The development of the new $6.5 million Hukawai Franz Josef Glacier Centre on the South Island’s West Coast reaches a significant milestone this week when the Centre’s roof will be completed.

The Hukawai Franz Josef Glacier Centre will be a cutting edge tourism attraction with an interactive glacier experience and the Southern Hemisphere’s only ice climbing wall when it opens in 2007.

The erection of the roof will be celebrated on the Centre’s site (the corner of Cowan and Cron Streets in Franz Josef) with a “Roof Shout” function on Friday, 22 September 2006, which will be attended by West Coast Tasman MP Damien O’Connor and by Westland District Council Mayor Maureen Pugh.

General Manager Steve Henery says there is much excitement this week among the team developing the Centre.

“We have been planning and working on this Centre for two years – to see the roof go on, is extremely exciting. It is a sign the Centre is a step closer to opening,” says Steve Henery.

Work on the Centre’s 10-metre high ice climbing wall, which will span 200 square metres is also nearing completion. And Wellington-based company, 3-D Creative Limited, has already begun developing the interactive glacier experience that will provide visitors with an educational insight into glaciers.

Steve Henery says the Centre will become one of the South Island’s key attractions.

“We will become a major drawcard not only to the town of Franz Josef but to the surrounding West Coast area. It’s only around six months until the Centre is scheduled to open in March 2007 and seeing the roof go up is a sign we will be welcoming both international and domestic visitors before we know it,” concluded Steve Henery.



The Hukawai Franz Josef Glacier Centre is being developed by Franz Josef restauranteurs Roberta Giacon and Jennie O’Loughlin with Jennie’s brother Harvey O’Loughlin with support from the West Coast Development Trust.

The Centre’s ice climbing wall will be the only one in the Southern Hemisphere and one of just five in the world. The interactive glacial experience is being developed by Wellington-based interior design company 3-D Creative Limited, it will be a walk-through experience which will tell the story of Franz Josef Glacier from both a Maori and West Coast context.

The Hukawai Franz Josef Glacier Centre is scheduled to open in January 2007.


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