On board with regional pride

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    Southland Business Chamber project and engagement manager Joanne O'Connor (left) and chief executive Sheree Carey are working on a Southland version of the board game, Monopoly.

    SOUTHLAND’S most iconic places will be soon up for sale – but only as part of the world’s most popular board game.

    The Southland Business Chamber started working on a special edition of the Monopoly board game as a way to promote Southland.

    Chamber project and engagement manager Joanne O’Connor said the idea was to support members in an innovative, fun and entertaining way.

    “The whole purpose is to promote the region and local businesses and we think it will create a lot of pride in Southland.”

    Mrs O’Connor was starting to approach businesses about sponsoring the spaces – it could be a street name for a local destination, an idea for a token or re-writing a Community Chest or Chance card.

    As an example, the Invercargill City Council had already confirmed its interest to have Queens Park as a destination and the Invercargill Water Tower as a token in the game, she said.

    Retail store H&J Smith would also be placed as a location.

    “There are so many opportunities. We would like to have a token with Burt Munro’s bike or another one with an oyster.”

    The Chance and Community Chest cards could be re-written to feature Southland flavours, for example, a card can propose a player eat blue cod in a local restaurant or get tickets for the Bluff Oyster & Food Festival.

    “We want to promote everything the region has to offer – although in our brainstorming we came up with too many places and they will not all fit on the board. The challenge will be to fit it all in.”

    There would be 26 street names available, she said.

    Highlights of Southland like the four Great Walks and Stewart Island would also be featured on the board.

    Bluff’s SouthPort and Invercargill Airport would become the two utilities spaces and SBS Bank would sponsor the game’s “dollar-money”.

    “We really want the businesses that sponsor this project to be true Southland businesses, not necessarily a franchise.”

    The project already had the approval from Winning Moves Australia Ltd, which has the rights to the board game.

    The international company would produce the board and the Chamber expected the games to be ready for delivery in October.

    Mrs O’Connor said the Southland Monopoly could be the perfect gift for Christmas, while also helping to promote the region.

    The game could already be pre-ordered through the Chamber, she said.

    “Everybody has a childhood memory with Monopoly so we think this is the perfect way to support our region in a fun way.

    “The best New Zealand region to live, work and play in is being immortalised in Southland Monopoly.”

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