Search and Rescue, festival get funding
Wanaka Search and Rescue has been granted $186,000 towards the construction of a new headquarters next to the new Wanaka Police Station. The grant was the largest in the almost $570,000 pool of grants from the Central Lakes Trust in its latest funding round. Landsar Wanaka project leader Phil Melchior said the facility was essential to allow continued optimal operation. The unit is one of the busiest back country search and rescue groups in the country averaging 35 to 50 operations a year. It is a volunteer organisation encompassing five specialist units – alpine, bush, swift water, search dogs and maritime. Chairman Paul Marshall said there was no confirmed cost for the project but it was likely to be between $400,000 and $500,000. ‘‘We’re trying to put ourselves in a position where we’re good for a long long time into the future. ‘‘The building’s not just for storing equipment as such. We should be able to run operations from that building as well and take some pressure off police.’’ Applications had been made to various funders. The second largest Central Lakes Trust grant was $150,000 to the Central Otago Ecological Trust to increase its predatorproof area to 14 hectares by erecting a 1.6 kilometre petproof fence at the Mokomoko Dryland Sanctuary. The fence will enclose an ecologically sustainable area of shrub, rock and stream habitat on Department of Conservation land. The Central Otago Heritage Trust received a grant of $24,080 towards further development of its Memory Bank at memorybank.co.nz. It will digitally store historical records and oral histories. Guarantees Against Loss were approved for the Fortune Theatre Trust for Gifted, to be performed in Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell and Alexandra this month ($5000); to the Alexandra Musical Society to assist with The Buddy Holly Story ($5000) and Queenstown Lakes District Council’s Summerdaze festival ($7500).
Call of duty: Wanaka Search and Rescue in action.