Scouts call on community to reach hall target

Te Anau Scouts are just $10,000 away from being able to afford a new Scout hall.

Group leader Noel Walker said the existing hall was too small for the 109 members, and there were growing concerns about the sustainability of the building following the Christchurch earthquakes.

During the past five years, they raised more than $80,000 and received about $210,000 in grants.

"The whole fundraising project has received fantastic support, it's been a real community effort," he said.

The budget for the new hall was $300,000, and the group was appealing to local businesses and friends and family to cover the last $10,000 needed, he said.

The Scout group has a long-term lease agreement and licence from the Department of Conservation for the existing hall, which is on land in Fiordland National Park.

Walker said the next step was to apply for concessions from the department to build the new hall on the same land, and to the Southland District Council for consents.

The existing hall could be used for storage.

As part of the consents process, the Scout group needed to consult with affected parties, so wrote to the Te Anau Community Board seeking approval, he said.

Board deputy chairwoman Rachel Cockburn said the board was "fully supportive" of a new Scout hall.

Walker was "quietly confident" consents would be approved because they had worked closely with the department, and because the new building was designed with the landscape in mind, he said.

The Southland Times