Major Events Fund Golden Shears World Championships $260,000 Investment "Vote of Confidence"

The Government's Major Events Fund investment of $260,000 for the Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships in 2017 is a vote of confidence in the Southland region.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said the investment for the February 9-11 event to be held at ILT Stadium Southland was a clear recognition the events industry was of enormous value to the country.

"I think its fantastic that the Government is supporting us on this because it means that the events industry is coming of age."

The Golden Shears was a perfect fit for Southland as shearing and wool handling was an integral part of the region's cultural identity.

Shadbolt said the event, which was expected to attract a significant number of visitors, was likely to become the biggest event the city had hosted.

The funding support would help ensure the city was well placed to welcome and host the expected visitors.

Economic benefit was measured in many different ways, and when he talked to taxi drivers, accommodation providers and restaurants it was undeniable the cash flow from events was "phenomenal", he said.

ILT Stadium Southland general manager Nigel Skelt said the Government investment was a vote of confidence in the province.

"The government have recognised that the industry is massively supportive of the province and what we're attempting to do in bringing an international event here."

"They've given us a helping hand and a leg up to make sure it's financially successful, which is great."

"From my perspective, it's a fantastic opportunity to showcase the venue internationally. What Southland's created here is something pretty special."

Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman and five-time world shearing champion Sir David Fagan said the Government support was huge for the Golden Shears event.

"It really secures that we're going to have a successful event because without the Government support it would be very, very difficult to run."

The event organisers have had huge local support and local buy-in from Invercargill and the wider Southland region, he said.

It will be incredible to welcome visitors from more than 30 countries, Sir David said.

"The whole event feels easy to run down there because of that whole community buy-in and the support and enthusiasm for it. We are excited about it."

The Golden Shears was about shearing and sheep, but it was also about putting on a great show for the public.

"It's something that we're really proud and excited to have in Southland.

"I can't wait to see the Mayor shear a sheep, actually," Sir David said.


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