Investors are still being ''wooed'' for a $4 million
heritage farm show and museum at the Cromwell racecourse nearly
three years after resource consents were granted but the man
behind the venture is confident it will be realised.
''I honestly believe it's just a timing thing ... I'll never
give up on this,'' Lester Rowntree, of Motueka, said this
week. Mr Rowntree was granted resource consent by the Central
Otago District Council in April 2010 for the project and
granted a lease over 5.4ha of the racecourse land.
His venture - the New Zealand Heritage Farm Show- was planned
to include an agridome, a museum of vintage farm machinery
and demonstrations of ploughing using a team of horses,
milking, chaff-cutting, blade-shearing and buttermaking. A
farrier, wheelwright and blacksmith would be on site and the
show would include demonstrations of flax and flour milling.
There was no suggestion of shelving the project, he said this
''It will fly - I'm sure of it. It's too important for the
whole of New Zealand for it not to go ahead.''
The venture would complement other activities available in
Work costing about $100,000 had already been done on site,
including a new irrigation system, but a lack of funding for
the most expensive parts of the project were causing the
''I had hoped I could finance 51% of it and retain that share
but the reality is I have to look at getting investors for
75%, but the project will come to pass. Someone who has a
little passion for this type of thing will turn up and we'll
be under way.''
Mr Rowntree said he had two parties he was trying to ''woo''
at the moment to invest in the tourism venture, but he did
not want to identify them yet.
''I am optimistic ... I really want it to go ahead and I
believe it will go ahead, but I can't do anything until I've
sourced all the funding.''