Into the realms of history
Chance to make history
Matamata people have an opportunity to be part of the town’s history by financially supporting its traffic-stopping i-Site Gatehouse.
On August 26, building will start on extending the i- Site visitors’ centre and completing the Gatehouse facade.
Matamata Public Relations Association manager Sue Whiting said the Gatehouse is an investment in Matamata’s future.
‘‘We’re inviting people to be part of that investment,’’she said.
The names of those who provide financial assistance will be recorded for posterity in a beautiful leather- bound Contribution Book which has been produced by a specialist book maker and overseen by The Hobbit set decorator Ra Vincent.
The book will be kept on permanent display at the i-Site.
Ms Whiting said Matamata people could show their grandchildren in years to come how they helped towards building the Gatehouse.
‘‘The project will cost $450,000 plus GST. We are using our accumulated funds, supported by a $50,000 grant and a $150,000 loan from the Matamata-Piako District Council,’’ she said.
‘‘ As anyone who has built a home knows, there are always cost overruns and we are experiencing some unexpected additional costs. However we are reluctant to delay the project as high visitor numbers are currently putting a strain on space, plus we need to be ready for what is projected to be a summer season even greater than last year.’’
Association chairwoman Denise Williams said the association wants to make sure the Gatehouse is ready for the expected December release of the second Hobbit movie.
‘‘We believe the Gatehouse is encouraging visitors to stop and shop in Matamata which is benefiting the town – hence an appeal to residents, businesses and groups for support,’’ she said.
Ms Whiting is keen to hear from anyone wishing to offer financial support to the Gatehouse. For more details call her on 888 6688.