14 Oct 2017

Weekend events big boost for Waimate

1:50 pm on 14 October 2017

Waimate is set to receive a much needed financial boost this weekend, with several events booking out accommodation in the South Island town.

Waimate

Waimate Photo: Google Maps

The 50th Waimate Shears Festival is under way and will run until Sunday, while the Waimate 50 motorsport event, which typically attracts about 10,000 people, kicked off yesterday.

Mayor Craig Rowley, said some businesses had been struggling in the area, forcing the council to look at developing an economic strategy.

A new website and Facebook page promoting the region was expected to be launched by the council next month.

Mr Rowley said the events this weekend were a good step forward, and he hoped it would bring in several hundred thousand dollars for the district.

"You've got to have these types of events to get people in the district," he said. "The local hotels and motels look forward to this weekend."

waimate

waimate Photo: flickr

A council spokesperson confirmed almost all the 27 accommodation providers in the town were booked out this weekend.

Mr Rowley said damage to roads and other infrastructure from the July floods had been mostly completed ahead of these events.

He said the floods had cost ratepayers $680,000, and the council was consulting on developing an emergency fund to be better prepared for a disaster.

He wants to set up an emergency relief fund of about $1 million, to act as a financial buffer.