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The redevelopment of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony (OBPC) will be discussed by Councillors at next Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. Earlier this year Council agreed the Waitaki Development Board (WDB) should oversee the redevelopment of the facility over a two to three year period to ensure it retained its competitive advantage as one of Waitaki’s prime tourist destinations. Each year over 75,000 visitors are attracted to the centre which is home to over 150 breeding pairs of penguins. Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony Manager, Jason Gaskill explained:
We are proposing a two stage redevelopment of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony over the next two to three years. Stage one, which is planned to commence this financial year, involves the construction of new grandstand and improvements to the day track. Stage two, which will commence during 2012/2013 financial year, will see an expansion of the retail area and reception, research lab, office space and storage improvements.
Mr Gaskilll further noted the proposed phased redevelopment will allow immediate works to commence on the grandstand and track improvement. Once complete, we will then review the impact of the improvements on visitor numbers before progressing to stage two.