Over­crowd­ing at church

The Southland Times - - NEWS - DAISY HUD­SON

In­creas­ing pres­sure from tourists on in­fra­struc­ture at Tekapo’s Church of the Good Shep­herd has led to a pitch for nearly $300,000 in gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

Is­sues with park­ing, over­crowd­ing and ve­hi­cle noise are dam­ag­ing the tourism hot spot, as well as pre­sent­ing safety risks, says com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties man­ager Garth Nixon in Macken­zie Dis­trict Coun­cil’s fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion.

Vis­i­tors are now com­plain­ing that it is too crowded, Nixon said.

The coun­cil is hop­ing to tap into $294,000 in fund­ing to im­prove pedes­trian ac­cess, re­duce the im­pact of ve­hi­cle traf­fic, im­prove the qual­ity of vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ences, and pro­tect the char­ac­ter and nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment sur­round­ing the world fa­mous church.

The ap­pli­ca­tion to the Min­istry for Busi­ness, In­no­va­tion, and En­ter­prise, says the project was ex­pected to cost $420,000, with the coun­cil hop­ing $294,000 of that would come from gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

Data sug­gested that more than 3000 peo­ple vis­ited the Church, per day over the sum­mer tourist pe­riod, amount­ing to 606,000 peo­ple dur­ing that time.

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