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Support sought for Waimate project

Press Release



Support sought for Waimate project


A Waimate community group wants people with connections to the town to support restoration of one of South Canterbury’s key buildings.

Pro-Ject Waimate is encouraging people to be part of its Quinn’s Arcade restoration and the town’s ongoing revival.

The 1906 building is thought to be one of the first shopping arcades of its type in Australasia, and possibly the southern hemisphere. There are six shops on either side of the arcade, which has a street running through it that’s wide enough for a horse and cart to drive through. It was built of almost 300,000 bricks made at Quinn’s brickworks in nearby Makikihi.

The group bought the building earlier this year with the support of a $50,000 grant from the Community Trust of Mid-South Canterbury, a $35,000 loan from the Waimate District Council and public donations of $22,000.

 “It’s our dream to restore the building and we’re encouraging everyone to join us,” said Pro-Ject Waimate chairperson Christine Wallace.

The group was planning a summer full of fundraising events to help get the restoration of the 1906 building underway.  For those further away, the group has a website through which contributions can be made.

“The spirit and tradition of New Zealanders creating something and moving it forward is flourishing in Waimate.” Mrs Wallace said. “We know that people are passionate about this building and they want to see work underway as soon as possible.”

Mrs Wallace said the focus now was raising money to restore the building to its original splendour.  

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“We won’t have a firm figure on the cost of restoration until the conservation architect has completed a report on the building and what needs to be done.”
That information would form the basis of a funding application next year to the Lottery Grants Board.

Pro-Ject Waimate aimed to have the restoration completed within the next two to five years, she said.

“Our long-term aim is to restore the building and then place it into a community trust to manage, similar to what the Whitestone Civic Trust has achieved in Oamaru.  

“In the short-term we are continuing with local fundraising and we have a goal of $6000 to raise in the next five months.”

People wanting to support the project could  “sponsor a brick” for as little as $5. Groups and individuals could also consider foundation sponsorship at $1000.
Pro-Ject Waimate will be at Waimate’s Strawberry Fare on December 8. The project is also online at



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