Coastguard puts out big donations call

JOHN EDENS
Last updated 15:04 18/12/2013
Southland Times photo
JOHN EDENS/Fairfax NZ
Coastguard Queenstown secretary and capital fundraiser Laura Harry at the site earmarked for a $575,000 operational base.

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Coastguard Queenstown desperately need help to raise $164,000 to start work on a new permanent operations base for Lake Wakatipu.

The Queenstown unit was launched in 2008 and has steadily increased its quota of volunteers and skippers, who operate from a small storage shed at the back the Wakatipu scouting hut at Frankton marina.

Coastguard Queenstown secretary and capital fundraiser Laura Harry said the focus for a new inland unit was the operational side before concentrating on strategy and infrastructure.

An increase in volunteers, the number of callouts, SAR work and emergencies meant working from a lock-up was no longer feasible, she said.

The organisation has successfully applied for the bulk of the budget needed to design, engineer and build a base building at Frankton marina.

Queenstown Lakes District Council has granted a 33-year lease, donated land beside the Wakatipu scouting hut and, so far, grants from Central Lakes Trust and other bodies have generated almost $410,000.

"Wakatipu is a phenomenally big lake, it's very difficult to police. "We don't have enough storage space.

"In time it may be an option for police to operate search and rescue out of the building."

Architects Warren & Mahoney have provided elevations and design plans pro bono. Other firms have offered pro bono help and the council waived resource consent application fees for the registered charity.

The budget is $575,000, of which 71 per cent has been raised including one grant of $250,000 from Central Lakes Trust, but the project needs another crucial $164,000 before construction can start.

  • Fast facts:
  • Coastguard Queenstown Active crew: 25
  • Skippers: 4
  • Operational hours: 16,000
  • People rescued: 143
  • Assistance callouts: 76
  • Search and rescue operations: 50
  • Proposed operations base: $164,000 shortfall NOTE: Figures since 2008, when the unit was launched 

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