Landsar’s own base

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MAR­JORIE COOK

mar­jorie.cook@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz The award-win­ning Wanaka Landsar team marked an im­por­tant mile­stone on Satur­day when its new $400,000 build­ing on Bal­lan­tyne Rd was of­fi­cially opened by the Gover­nor Gen­eral, Sir Jerry Mateparae.

The build­ing has been op­er­at­ing for sev­eral months but the in­ci­dent man­age­ment sys­tem was only in­stalled last week, af­ter fur­ther fundrais­ing for the equip­ment.

Wanaka Landsar spokesman Phil Mel­chior said vol­un­teers ‘‘have been rav­ing about how easy it is’’ to or­gan­ise search and res­cue op­er­a­tions from the new fa­cil­i­ties.

How­ever the group can­not rest on its lau­rels now the build­ing is com­plete.

Mel­chior said it was highly un­likely lo­cal Landsar or­gan­i­sa­tions would ever re­ceive cen­tral gov­ern­ment fund­ing. Ef­forts would con­tinue to raise money for vol­un­teer train­ing, op­er­at­ing costs and main­te­nance.

‘‘If you look at the to­tal­ity of po­lice [fund­ing], the amount of re­sources re­quired for search and res­cue is mi­cro­scopic. There is no ap­petite for them to look at the over­all set up,’’ he said.

Photo: JOHN TAY­LOR/SUP­PLIED

Vuce-re­gal open­ing: The Gover­nor Gen­eral Sir Jerry Mateparae presided over the of­fi­cial open­ing of Wanaka LandSar’s new build­ing in Bal­lan­tyne Rd on Satur­day. Watch­ing are LandSAR NZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Harry Mayer; Waitak­iMPJac­qui Dean; QLDC deputy mayor Lyal Cocks; Rich Raynes (ob­scured); LandSAR Wanaka po­lice co-or­di­na­tor Sergeant Aaron Ni­chol­son; Kate Good­sell (ob­scured); Brent Arthur; Roy Bai­ley; Sue Aspinall (ob­scured); Ge­off Hat­ten; Paul (Sparky) Mar­shall; Phil Mel­chior.

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