Coastguard Queenstown's days of operating out of a 2m-by-3m
storage room at the back of a scout hall are numbered and the
group is asking for help to raise the remaining funds needed
for its planned new headquarters.
Laura Harry, who has many roles with Coastguard Queenstown,
including board secretary, treasurer and project manager for
the head quarters, said the group was established in 2007 and
had operated from various back rooms, storerooms and private
The charity has rescued 143 people, responded to 76
public-assistance calls and been called upon by the police to
assist in 50 search-and-rescue events. Now it is asking for
''We view it as a project that's urgently needed,'' Ms Harry
The Queenstown Lakes District Council has given consent for a
lease on a site next to the Scout building at Frankton Marina
and the Coastguard has planned a two-level building as its
Ms Harry said the total cost of the project was $575,000.
Fundraising was recently given a boost by the Central Lakes
Trust to the tune of $250,000 but $164,281 was still needed.
Last year $13,000 was raised from the Thriller in the
Chiller, held during the Queenstown Winter Festival, and
money has been collected from companies and individuals.
Ms Harry said the 25 active wet crew and eight shore crew
trained for rescues they hoped would not happen, but the
group was essential.
''We have certainly had two quiet years and I don't know if
that's because the community is taking more care. There are
28,000 residents and 1.8 million visitors - that's a
phenomenal amount of people coming to this area.''