by Chris Tobin
The famous sheepdog statue site at Tekapo could receive a significant makeover before the peak summer tourist season.
The Tekapo Community Board and Mackenzie District Council have been considering whether to develop the area around the statue extensively, which would include establishing a viewing platform at the site to cater for large numbers of tourists, or to keep it much as it is at present.
“The council received some MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment) funding to upgrade the facilities at the church and around the dog statue,” council group manager community facilities Garth Nixon said.
“We’ve had design work done and there’s been stakeholder consultation with runholders. We’re trying to come up with a solution – develop it extensively or keep it as is.”
The community favoured “a bit of both”.
“It’s to cater for the tourists because of the volume of numbers.”
Work at the site could include walkways to redirect vehicle and pedestrian access around the Church of the Good Shepherd and a new car park.
Mr Dixon hoped the work would be completed “before the busy [tourism] period.”