Park’s wings clipped

Kua mo­tuk­ina o¯ te papa ta¯ karo pari­rau

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PURONGORONGO -

me­dia man­age­ment com­pany FiftyOne Dig­i­tal.

Owner Ryan Judd said in his email to Simp­son: ‘‘ As well as of­fer­ing a pledge of $100 we will of­fer at no cost what so ever 100 per cent free mar­ket­ing and so­cial me­dia ser­vices to the park if es­tab­lished. The value of these ser­vices we are pre­pared to of­fer is over $ 30,000 year which shows how ded­i­cated we are to pro­vid­ing a safe and con­trolled place for this hobby to take place.’’

Simp­son’s idea was one of the 25 sub­mis­sions that failed to re­ceive fund­ing from the district’s $5 mil­lion.

Simp­son said he ap­plied for $ 170,000 to build a shel­ter where people could stand, but said the fund­ing was not es­sen­tial for the run­ning of the park.

‘‘All the coun­cil has to do is de-list the air­field, which will save them money, then people can fly model planes.’’

But Mayor Neil Sin­clair said the coun­cil had never re­ceived a for­mal busi­ness plan de­tail­ing the eco­nomic im­pact a model aero park will have on the district and how it would work in with other users.

Fol­low­ing the sub­mis­sion hear­ing Simp­son said he di­rected people to the coun­cil’s Face­book page to show the coun­cil how wide­spread the sup­port for the project was.

In about a week more than 50 people posted mes­sages claim­ing they would travel from coun­tries such as Canada, Italy and the United States.

If de­vel­oped, Simp­son said he would like to see the park cater to a range of mod­els in­clud­ing planes, cars and boats.

In an email to the South Waikato District Coun­cil, Model Fly­ing New Zealand pres­i­dent Jonathan Shorer said a sim­i­lar idea had al­ready been mooted.

‘‘ The MFNZ coun­cil has de­bated the is­sue of a na­tional fa­cil­ity sev­eral times and con­cluded that it was dif­fi­cult to con­struct a sound busi­ness case. One fac­tor that we con­sid­ered was that a sim­i­lar ven­ture in UK had failed de­spite hav­ing a catch­ment of 20,000 mod­ellers within a two-hour drive of the fa­cil­ity near Not­ting­ham.’’

No park yet: Bruce Simp­son wants the coun­cil to turn Toko­roa air­field into a place where mod­els such as this one can be flown.

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