Event Center Gets Naming Sponsor


Network Waitaki puts its power behind Oamaru’s new indoor sports and events center project.

The trust-owned powerline company has secured the naming rights to the facility, which will be known as the Network Waitaki Event Centre, by signing a 10-year, $2.5 million deal with the Waitaki Event Center Trust and the Waitaki District Council.

Network Waitaki chief executive Geoff Douch said sponsorship opportunities on this scale don’t come around often and the timing was perfect for the company.

“We have had two years of outstanding business performance and are well positioned to contribute to this fantastic community facility,” said Douch.

Network Waitaki was proud to support the community and give back through its annual electricity bill reduction program, sponsorship programs and scholarships and training opportunities for locals, it said.

”It’s just another way we can help fuel our community.”

Sponsorship consists of an initial payment once construction begins and an ongoing contribution over 10 years.

Network Waitaki Chairman Chris Dennison said the company was proud to support a project that would bring so many benefits to Oamaru and the wider Waitaki District.

“This sponsorship reaches a large part of the community and our customers, and many of the sporting and cultural groups that we already sponsor will be users of this facility,” Dennison said.

”It will also be a real asset in bringing sporting and cultural events to the Waitaki region.”

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said securing naming rights was a “major step” and he thanked Network Waitaki for supporting the project.

”It’s another extension of the good relationship the council has with Network Waitaki, and I think, along with the other sponsorships, it’s going to help us ensure that we have a very good quality facility which is going to serve the community for years to come.

Waitaki Event Center Trust chairman Kevin Malcolm said the trust was looking for a financially strong and community-minded naming rights sponsor – and Network Waitaki ticked both boxes.

”It was also very important, apart from financial strength, whoever we gave this opportunity to had the ability to maintain their current community support and have this funding from the Waitaki Event Center in addition to what they were already doing” Mr. Malcolm said

More than $19 million has now been committed to the $30 million project, including the council’s $10 million contribution, Doug and Donna Hurst’s $5 million pledge and “significant” donations. by LJ Hooker Oamaru and the Oamaru Veterinary Center.

“We’re getting really good community support,” he said.

”We have [other] companies very keen to work with us at this time on major sponsorship deals around other parts of the event hub. ”

He hoped to have between $20 million and $22 million secured before submitting funding requests for major lottery and community trust grants.

Next month, the trust would meet with representatives of 28 sporting and cultural groups to discuss concept plans, so they can be finalized and the construction bidding process can begin.

To keep the project on track for opening in May 2024, for the start of the netball season, Centennial Park’s ground would need to be broken by November this year, Malcolm said.

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