Unused indoor curling rink leaking money



The Naseby Indoor Curling Rink remains frozen, despite all activity on it being put on ice.
As New Zealand moves from Alert Level 4 to Level 3 that is unlikely to change.
The continuing Covid-19 lockdown means the rink cannot be used, a situation that poses expense whether it is used or not, Maniototo Curling International treasurer Ken Gillespie said.
It was ‘‘extremely costly’’ to keep the only indoor curling rink in the southern hemisphere operating while it remained closed coming into winter almost peak season for events on the ice.
Mr Gillespie said the cost issue was twofold; to keep the rink frozen when it was not being used, or to clear it of ice.
The latter option was labour-intensive and would require a team of people, an option he said would breach 2m social distancing rules.
Clearing the ice would potentially require the rink to be resurfaced, and the paint that ‘‘made the ice the right colour’’ had to be sourced from and applied by specialists from Canada, Mr Gillespie said.
The situation in Naseby was little different from most in terms of economic impact, as most businesses, including the rink, were forced to close and weather the impact of the pandemic, he said.
What did make Naseby and the rest of Maniototo unique was that it was one of the few places in New Zealand to emerge completely untouched in terms of lives lost in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.
As well as events on the rink, the township was also home to New Zealand’s only ice luge track.
After a population of close to 4000 at its peak in the gold rush era, the permanent population of the township, 15km from Ranfurly, now sits at little more than 100.