Com­mu­nity gets set for Lions rugby tour

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Pri­vate house­holds host­ing fans with meals, farm tours, and shower and laun­dry fa­cil­i­ties, and clubs of­fer­ing spe­cial ac­tiv­i­ties and gala din­ners.

‘‘The idea is that we make these peo­ple feel very wel­come and of­fer a bit of Kiwi hospi­tal­ity but that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean do­ing it for noth­ing as these peo­ple will be bring­ing their money,’’ he said.

Gardner said the steer­ing group has rep­re­sen­ta­tion from Ti­rau, Toko­roa, and Pu­taruru as well as sup­port from the South Waikato District Coun­cil.

‘‘It’s for busi­nesses to come up with their own ideas but we would like to think all busi­nesses can get a Bri­tish theme be­hind them. They might also want to run spe­cial pro­mo­tions,’’ he said.

He said many clubs have come on board.

‘‘The Pu­taruru Rugby Club is right be­hind it and they are putting on all sorts of things such as a so­cial even­ing and games of golden oldies rugby,’’ he said.

‘‘One of the golf clubs is also giv­ing a 50 per cent dis­count on green fees.’’

Gardner said many fans could linger in the South Waikato for days be­tween games due to its camper­van friendly sta­tus.

‘‘We are go­ing to have wel­come packs printed with a map pin­point­ing lo­cal at­trac­tions and we are also putting ma­te­rial di­rectly into rental cars and camper­vans when they ar­rive in New Zealand,’’ he said.

He said the steer­ing group will be based out of the New Zealand Tim­ber Mu­seum so fans can eas­ily ac­cess help if needed.

‘‘We are also look­ing for am­bas­sadors to show guests where to go and ex­plain what we have got. They will have their own t-shirts and will be at key places through­out the district,’’ he said.

South Waikato mayor Jenny Shat­tock said she was look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing fans.

‘‘It’s great to see a com­mu­nity group tak­ing the ini­tia­tive. I ap­plaud them and the coun­cil will sup­port their work where we can so be­tween us we’ll be able to show the Lions fans just what they can see in ru­ral New Zealand and in the South Waikato out­side of the main cen­tres,’’ she said.

‘‘Hope­fully lo­cals will em­brace the con­cept and get on board with this com­mu­nity group. There’s dol­lars to be spent by tourists in New Zealand and we want them to be spent in the South Waikato.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.