Mayor fires at rifle range opening

Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson got the chance to let off some steam when he fired the first shots at the opening of the new international standard Rifle Range at the TECT All Terrain Park today.

At about midday Ross loaded up the rifle and lined up the sights on the target before firing off three rounds to officially open the new facility, estimated to be worth $200,000.

Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson fires the first shots at the opening of the new rifle range at the TECT All Terrain Park.

Although his shot wasn't quite on the mark, Ross says he is thrilled to be opening the facility, a long-term joint project between the Western BOP District Council, Tauranga City Council and local shooting associations including the New Zealand Deer Association BOP branch.

“It is a massive exercise to get this up and running, we are very pleased with the outcome.
“There was a lot of pre-work that went in to determining exactly what would be required to achieve the range. We were very conscious of the safety aspect and needed to ensure the area would be properly fenced off.”

The rifle range located in the south-west corner of the terrain park off Pyes Pa Road features fixed target shooting at 25m, 50m, 100, 200m and 300m long points.

It is one of only three ranges to be opened in New Zealand in the last 10 years and NZDA BOP branch president Dean Maisey says it is of an international standard and internationally certified.

“The range is certified as a ‘no danger area' which means the shots fired must be contained within the area.

“By building a 300m range in this way – it is the only way you can get the range certified without having four or five kilometres of land behind the end of the range. It is unique.”

“In building the range we have pulled in the best in the world.”

The range featuring five fixed range targets up to 300m.

Work began on the project in December 2010 and Dean says at least 200 machine hours and in excess of 1200 volunteer hours have been put into building the range.

Through fundraising activities and corporate sponsors the total cost of creating the park is $90,000 however, Dean says the park is actually worth about $200,000.

“Most of the costs went on machine hire to create the site and labour. We had a huge effort from volunteers.

“It fills a void that has been consisting for the last 13 years. There has not been a facility for target shooting like this.”

Although the range is complete, Dean says there is still work to be done to finish off the rest of the site before it will host international competitions.

“There is still some work to do - we are building an amenities block and office at the top. Once everything is complete we will be able to host international shooting competitions.”

In addition to international events, Ross says the range will act as an attraction for shooting enthusiasts from throughout the central plateau and greater North Island.

“It will enhance the locality for users throughout the central North Island. It is situated in a very good location and will bring in high quality rangers.”

The range caters for all rifles up to 338 Lapua Calibre – or a maximum energy rating of 7000 Joules.

It is controlled by designated range officers, predominately for the use of NZDA and its 365 members, but Dean says it will also be used by other BOP groups including the Western BOP cadets and National Rifle Association.

Anyone interested in using the range should contact the NZDA BOP branch.

Public view the shots fired at the 25m mark.

An NZDA member gets ready to shoot a 25m target.

Western BOP Mayor Ross Paterson gets a helping hand from an range officer.

The new international standard rifle range at the TECT All Terrain Park.


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