Garden event huge funding boost for Plunket

A novel "arts alliance" has produced a record result for Wakatipu Plunket.

In February, the Arrowtown Creative Arts Society (ACAS) held the inaugural ‘Gardens+Galleries’ event over two days, giving ticket-holders rare access to some of the Whakatipu’s most stunning gardens and an artist’s trail, culminating with the Twilight Opera, held at Lower Shotover’s Springpointer garden.

Sponsored by ACAS, Jarden, David Reid Homes, Bayleys and Baxter Design, profits from the events went to the local Plunket, which receives no government funding.

From left, ACAS chair Paul Rea and committee member Margot Robinson, Wakatipu Plunket’s Krista...
From left, ACAS chair Paul Rea and committee member Margot Robinson, Wakatipu Plunket’s Krista Baker and manager Elessa Impey. PHOTO: PHILIP CHANDLER
At Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum on Monday night, it was revealed $30,000 has been handed over to the charity — an amount that’s more than triple what the Plunket Garden Tour previously raised.

"We had high hopes when we talked with ACAS about building out the gardens weekend by adding a significant arts component," Wakatipu Plunket manager Elessa Impey says, "but the result was even better than we’d hoped for."

With the expanded programme, ticket-holders had a choice of 26 different venues and events during the Gardens+Galleries weekend.

The wider choices resulted in a broader audience, and ACAS’ committed supporter base further bolstered that.

"Every dollar of the money they’ve raised stays here in the Whakatipu, helping the mothers, children and carers we support," Impey says.

She’s particularly grateful to ACAS’ Margot Robinson, who led the team that worked with the Plunket vollies, and the garden and gallery owners and speakers, "who stumped up with a great deal of their time and effort".