The Queenstown Lakes District Council yesterday approved a
$50,000 interest-free loan to Coastguard Queenstown towards
its planned headquarters.
The coastguard had asked the council for a grant of the same
amount for the proposed $575,000 headquarters.
But councillors discussing whether to approve the loan were
concerned about setting a precedent for other community
Wanaka councillor Lyal Cocks said it was ''a real dilemma''
whether to grant the money, considering the importance of
other groups such as the Wanaka Coastguard.
Queenstown councillor Craig Ferguson said although he wanted
to support them, he also wanted to ensure an even playing
field for the whole district.
Mayor Vanessa van Uden said Coastguard Queenstown also had a
dilemma in that to enable it to advance the long-running
project at the current fixed building price, it needed secure
The report discussed by councillors said the charity had
raised $388,985 - meaning there was a shortfall of just over
At the beginning of the meeting, Wanaka councillor Ella
Lawton said the amount Coastguard was spending on the
building ''seems like a huge amount'', before she was told
the proposalhad been much grander and had been scaled back.
Coastguard presently operates from a small storage shed at
the back of a scouts building at Frankton Marina and in 2012
was granted consent from the council for a lease on a vacant
''It's an extremely valuable service,'' Ms van Uden said, but
she added there were ''an awful lot'' of passionate people
and community groups which benefited the district.
No representatives from Coastguard were present at the
Eventually, councillors decided to approve a $50,000 interest
free loan to be paid back over 10 years and resolved to
encourage Coastguard to apply for a grant through the annual
A statement from Coastguard Queenstown following the meeting
said the organisation appreciated the loan offer.
''We await the proposed terms of the loan so that our board
can consider it. In the meantime we continue with our
fundraising efforts to raise the balance needed to commence