Go-ahead for Marine Rescue Centre

Jonathan Walmisley: We are planning to start the process from next week of getting the building designed and costed and trying to get it built. Nikki McKay

Coastguard Wanaka Lakes (CWL) has been given the go-ahead to build the district's first dedicated Marine Rescue Centre. The project was given approval for a resource consent on October 19, but CWL had to wait 15 working days to allow for appeals, of which there were none.

CWL president Jonathan Walmisley said: "To my knowledge, there were no appeals lodged, so we are planning to start the process from next week of getting the building designed and costed and trying to get it built.

"Funding- that's the next thing- we will have to start re-engaging with funding agencies and raise funds. We feel confident we will be able to do that but to be honest, don't know how yet.

"We have already had some very generous benefactors come to our aid because we have had to fund the process to date. Now the next step is to work out how we are going to build it and how we are going to fund it."

The committee would discuss approaching potential funders and local community groups wishing to support the project at a meeting next week, Walmisley said

CWL operates out of a building on the showgrounds, but with Wānaka becoming more traffic-congested the additional time to get through town to launch the boat meant a successful rescue became less likely, he said.

"Every day, we are not on that side of the lake means we are taking too long to deploy. We need to be able to launch within 20 minutes of a call out.

"We have been discussing the project with the council for over four years.  A purpose-built rescue centre on the foreshore seemed the feasible solution," Walmisley said.

Last year the CWL received the go-ahead from the QLDC which issued it with with a 33-year lease for the centre at a site, selected by the Wānaka Community Board (WCB), above the Scout Den on Eely Point Reserve.

The building would comprise of a single storey 220m2 structure to house the rescue boat, a members room, a storage area and the harbourmaster's office.

The building would be hidden from Lakeside Drive by trees and shrubs.

When will the building be complete? How long is a piece of string, Walmisley said.

"We are not planning to hang around. We will be starting as soon as we can because it has taken too long already."

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