Cable car gets golf course back on the level

Last updated 12:00 13/01/2014

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Rangatira Golf Club's iconic cable car is back where it belongs, but it's not working just yet.

Sporting a baby-blue hue, the cable car and its new two-rope safety system were trucked from Palmerston North firm Niven Engineering and craned onto its rails by club volunteers last week.

For club member Warren Guiniven, who has overseen the cable car for years, it has been a long time coming.

The lift, which takes players from the bottom tier of the three-tier Rangitikei River cliff course to the top tier, has been out of action since a health and safety inspector closed it to passengers last February.

Before that, a one-rope version of the electric cable car had transported golfers and their gear up the steep incline for 41 years.

The survival of the 101-member club near Hunterville was feared as costs to fix it ballooned to $77,000 by August, and the club took to running Save Our Lift fundraising dinners and golf tournaments to finance its return.

Members have been taking turns volunteering to carry finished golfers in vehicles from the 18th green to the 19th hole to avoid the inconvenience players would face from walking up and around the course after 18 holes.

That particular chore is nearly over, but it will be a little longer before members could use the cable car, Mr Guiniven said.

"It's there but it's not actually working yet. The electrician needs to do all the circuits and then we have to get the [health and safety] inspector back out here just to make sure we're all in the clear."

Mr Guiniven said he was confident everything would be ironed out and an official opening would be possible later this week.

Users would not notice too many changes although the addition of a second tow rope had forced the car to be moved 45 centimetres to get the ropes evenly balanced.

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- Manawatu Standard

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