Strath Taieri Heritage Park moves forward

Strath Taieri Heritage Park concept development team co-ordinator Jacquie Lucas.

A $1 million project designed to showcase the Strath Taieri is one step closer.

Strath Taieri Heritage Park concept development team co-ordinator Jacquie Lucas, speaking to a funding application at a Strath Taieri Community Board meeting last week, said the park would be an “interactive rural discovery experience” showcasing Otago farming heritage, southern hospitality, its railway history and natural resources.

The team had launched a $1million project.

The project cost would span over 10 years and about $100,000 was needed for the first stage.

The team asked for $5000 from the board.

Later in the meeting, when the board deliberated on the application, team and board member Robin Thomas stood aside from discussions due to a conflict of interest.

Board member Leeann McLew said she was struggling to understand the concept of the park.

“Will this be a paid job for you – a business?” she asked Ms Lucas, who was sitting in the public gallery.

Ms Lucas said operators would get bookings for their services through the park.

“Some of that money would come in to keep growing a hub and to market the park.”

The plan was for volunteers to work in the park for the first two years, then for paid staff to be employed.

“This isn’t about paying me – or anybody – this is just the costs for what we need to do,” Ms Lucas said.

Ms McLew said the funding application lacked detail on what the money would be spent on.

Ms Lucas said the money would allow the team to start creating the infrastructure of the park.

Board deputy chairman Mark O’Neill moved the board give $2000 for the team to start “drawing up trust documents”.

Board member Jock Frew seconded the motion.

Everyone voted in favour except Ms McLew.

“I’m unsure,” Ms McLew said.

The motion was carried.