Ideas to benefit Southland pitched
By ALANA DIXON - The Southland Times
Last updated 05:00 10/04/2010
NICOLE GOURLEY/The Southland Times
PLANS FOR GROWTH: Gary Hannam, the producer of The World's Fastest Indian, in Invercargill yesterday.
Gary Hannam is a man with plans for Southland.
The producer of The World's Fastest Indian spent the past two days in Invercargill, pitching ideas aimed at benefiting Southland's economy to community leaders, before heading home to Switzerland yesterday afternoon.
His first idea was for Invercargill to play host to Swiss motorcylists Ruedi Steck and Markus Saegesser, and American woman Leslie Porterfield, during the annual Burt Munro Challenge in Invercargill.
All three hold world speed records in Bonneville, Utah, where Munro set world records in the 1960s. Mr Hannam said he hoped their presence would attract more international competitors, and "lift a successful event to an international level".
It would bring financial rewards not only to Southland, but the rest of the country, he said.
Mr Hannam's second concept was to involve students from the Southern Institute of Technology in the production of a new film, Two Little Boys, directed by Kiwi filmmaker Robert Sarkies.
Five students at the SIT had been given internships during the filming of The World's Fastest Indian.
He wanted SIT's budding film-makers to be given a chance to work on the film, set to star Bret Mckenzie, of Flight of the Conchords fame, and Hamish Blake, one half of well-known Australian comedy duo Hamish and Andy.
Mr Hannam said he did not have any personal interest in the film.
His desire to see both projects go ahead was simply because he enjoyed seeing projects he had helped start continue to be successful, he said.