Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 4 September 2009 Contents LOCAL NEWS
4 September, 2009 | Page 13
A long-term goal to establish Tuatapere as
home to the largest stand of southern rata
in the world has begun.
Last year Tuatapere and District Promotions
Inc suggested to the Tuatapere Community
Board that they promote the planting of
southern rata throughout the town and
at the Greenheart reserve. It sparked a
collaborative effort that has seen members
of both groups out digging during the past
One of New Zealand’s most spectacular
natives, rata are a favorite food of birds,
especially tuis and bellbirds. Through
this ambitious bold visual statement, the
promotions group and community board
hope to boost the bird population and
create another reason for tourists to visit
and stop in Tuatapere.
The plan won financial support from
Project Crimson, a trust dedicated to the
re- establishment of Pohutakawa and Rata
throughout New Zealand that is sponsored
by Meridian Energy.
It donated 75 four-year-old southern rata to
be planted throughout the town in existing
public garden plots and prominent positions
such as street corners.
Project co-ordinator Justin Lewis said
most of the first batch of rata had now
been planted with the remainder due to
be planted in the next week or so. More
established plants were selected for
the first plantings and had been spread
throughout the town. Future plantings would
use younger rata.
People were now being sought to help raise
seedlings and the group hoped this would
appeal particularly to children. In addition,
homeowners were being encouraged to
plant rata in their front gardens.
“We’d love to see individuals come on board
by buying a rata for their own garden,” he
said. “The more the merrier.”
They might be small now but with some
imagination it was possible to see what a
considerable difference they would make to
the look of Tuatapere in years to come, Mr
Within five years some of the first rata
planted would be bushes of about 4m tall
and provide a brilliant floral spectacle.
“In 30 years it’s just going to be absolutely
amazing,” he said.
Tuatapere plans to plant the town red
Tuatapere and Districts Promotions chairwoman Ngarita Dixon and Tuatapere Community Board
chairman Gray Robertson planting some of the first of what they hope will grow to be the largest
stand of southern rata in the country.
The Fiordland Community Events Centre
Trust has completed another successful
year, with demand for the facility continuing
to be strong.
The trust holds its annual meeting on
September 16 where the financial report
will illustrate a community-run centre
continuing to hold its own where many
other towns are having to be propped up by
Chairman Mike Schuck said the books
would show a $31,802 loss but after
excluding donations, interest income and
depreciation on assets, there was a small
operating surplus of $5,467.
“Making a book loss is not really a worrying
thing as long as we’re making a cash profit,”
Just over four years since the centre was
built, the trust was still debt-free and had a
$202,793 investment earmarked for future
refurbishment needs, he said.
The number of groups using the centre
continued to grow.
Regular users included Oscar, Kung Fu,
Small-bore, Badminton, Basketball, Hockey,
Netball, Flower Show, Friends of the
Library Book Sale, Te Anau and Mararoa
Primary Schools, Fiordland College,
Lions Steptoe Auction, Kepler Challenge,
Fiordland Players, Scouts, Volleyball, Yoga,
Trampolining and Gymnastics, Squash Club
and Red Cross.
The Baptist Church, Embroidery Guild and
Fiordland Astronomy had also begun using
Two conferences were held there during the
year while a variety of government and local
body organisations also used it regularly.
In line with the trust’s plan to keep the
centre well maintained and equipped,
40 new trestle tables and a new screen
for use with data projectors were bought
and improvements made to the stage, Mr
After three years of user charges remaining
unchanged, fees were raised on April 1.
“These fees are still lower than equivalent
centres elsewhere and trustees believe that
local community groups continue to enjoy
the use of the centre at minimal cost,” Mr
Trustees were proud of the centre and the
fact that it was not a burden to ratepayers.
The Southland District Council hall levy had
not increased since the centre was built.
“I reckon we’ve got a fantastic asset for
such a small town,” Mr Schuck said.
Members of the public were welcome to
attend the annual meeting and the trust
was always keen to hear from anyone
interested in becoming a trustee.
The current trustees are: Mike Schuck,
Wayne Meffan, Shayne Mercer, Sean
Cantwell, Reg Kemper, Paul Norris, Kim
Carruthers, Kathy Gray, Graham Dainty and
Events centre scores another winning year
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