Trust to decide sports hall of fame future

The New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame faces an uncertain future. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame faces an uncertain future. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Any possible relocation of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame will be decided by the trust that runs the Dunedin institution, Sport New Zealand says.

A new proposal for a national sports museum in Christchurch this week raised the spectre of the cash-strapped hall of fame moving north.

The hall of fame’s primary funder, Sport NZ, said it would not play a role in deciding the hall’s future.

A Sport NZ spokesman said it had been approached by the National Sports Museum Trust, after the trust had been contacted by consultants working for the hall of fame.

But the government agency’s only involvement in the Christchurch sports museum proposal was to connect the museum trust with the process being followed by the hall of fame, the spokesman said.

"We let the [museum] trust know that the sports of hall of fame was exploring options, which is public knowledge, but [we] have not contributed to their proposal," the spokesman said.

"Sport NZ has continued to support the sports hall of fame board over the past two years by extending our investment, funding independent expert reports, and advising them on the process they should follow, but we have no role in making decisions about the future, or location, of the sports hall of fame."

Hall of fame chairman Stuart McLauchlan said he would not comment on the suggested move to Christchurch when the museum trust had not yet even secured its feasibility study funding.

However, the hall of fame, which opened in Dunedin in 1990, will be the subject of a Dunedin City Council staff report going to councillors at the end of this month as part of councillors’ long-term plan deliberations.

At present, the hall is operating from its Dunedin Railway Station home by virtue of $50,000 in emergency funding from the council.

That funding was granted to get the hall of fame through to the end of this financial year, on June 30.

National Sports Museum Trust of New Zealand foundation president Bruce Ullrich has said he would be happy to accommodate the hall of fame in the sports museum’s plans but he had not spoken to anyone from the hall of fame.

He said yesterday he had nothing further to add at this stage.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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