Open sells Queen­stown to the golf­ing world

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By JOHN EDENS

Prime Min­is­ter John Key says the New Zealand Open can be used to showcase New Zealand to the world.

The open has been given a ma­jor boost, with next year’s na­tional golf cham­pi­onship se­cur­ing in­creased gov­ern­ment fund­ing and live tele­vi­sion cov­er­age.

For the first time the New Zealand Open will be broad­cast live in New Zealand and to over­seas ter­ri­to­ries, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia and Ja­pan.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence in Auck­land last week, Key said golf and sport tourism were im­por­tant.

‘‘There’s no ques­tion the event is grow­ing in stature and is go­ing to at­tract more and more play­ers from around the world. If we can show how beau­ti­ful Queen­stown is . . .we can not only en­cour­age peo­ple to come to Queen­stown to play golf but just come to New Zealand.’’

Chair­man of the open’s or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee John Hart said se­cur­ing broad­cast­ing with Sky Tele­vi­sion was great.

‘‘The key thing for us is to cre­ate not just a golf tour­na­ment. You have to get into peo­ple’s homes and cre­ate some­thing spe­cial.’’

For the fifth con­sec­u­tive year, the Gov­ern­ment has in­creased the amount of tax­payer fund­ing go­ing to the event. Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Steven Joyce an­nounced a ma­jor events de­vel­op­ment fund in­vest­ment of $700,000 a year for the 2015 and 2016 events and a one-off cash boost of $250,000 - to be matched by event pro­moter Sir Michael Hill - to en­sure live broad­cast­ing con­tin­ues.

Last year’s event re­ceived $900,000.

Hard fight: Queen­stown boxer Richie Had­low (in blue) avoids Leroy Hind­ley’s gloves be­fore knock­ing him out to take the NZ Box­ing Champs light wel­ter­weight ti­tle in Queen­stown at the week­end.

Beau­ti­ful: The Hills, Ar­row­town.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.