Prime Minister John Key has followed through on his promise
of a Government contribution of $2 million towards the cost
of rebuilding ILT Stadium Southland.
The city's covered multipurpose stadium has been rebuilt and
enlarged at a cost of about $43 million after the roof of the
original stadium collapsed under the weight of a snowfall in
At the official reopening in May, Mr Key told city
dignitaries to ''rattle the tin at your end and we might
finish the job''.
Southland has done just that, raising $1.3 million to date
through a fundraising appeal.
Yesterday, Mr Key said while there was not a huge precedent
for the Government to contribute to regional stadiums, it
would pledge ''a couple of million'' in recognition of all
Southland had been through with its stadium.
''I'm pretty confident you are going to see a stadium which
is debt-free and which is going to continue to be a
magnificent facility for the community,'' he told a lunchtime
gathering of about 50 people, including Invercargill Mayor
Tim Shadbolt and stadium funders.
A beaming Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Trust chairman
Acton Smith said the money would ''break the back'' of the
After the old stadium collapsed, only the core central
services area remained undamaged. Plans for a $14 million
rebuild were announced, but it was soon discovered the core
area did not meet new earthquake standards and the trust
decided to bring it up to code, which trebled the cost.
Mr Smith said the trust still did not know exactly what the
construction shortfall figure was because the total insurance
payout figure was not finalised. Most of the payout has
already been received.
The trust was ''in the last stretches'' of having the payout
figure finalised, he said.
Before the ''rattle the tin'' appeal, the trust had estimated
a shortfall of about $5million by 2018. But Mr Smith said
yesterday the fundraising and the Government's contribution
would ''get us near where we want to be''.
''We are now looking at a shortfall of $750,000-$1 million,
and we are pretty confident we can get below that.''