Local businessman and staunch supporter of redeveloping Marineland, Rodney Green, has given the Friends of Marineland organisation a $500,000 thumbs-up in the form of a pledge in support of redevelopment.
Friends of Marineland chairman Cliff Church was delighted with the pledge.
He said Mr Green's pledge, along with the Montgomery Bequest of $250,000 gifted to the Napier City Council in 2007, meant that with other pledges received from businesses and local supporters they were well on the way to having $1 million to invest in the redevelopment of Marineland should the Napier City Council decide to reconsider their decision to close the venue.
"This will be a start to getting a Marine Rescue and Eco-Education Centre up and running and may also help to convince the council that their decision to close Marineland was the wrong decision," Mr Church said.
"All of us in Napier and the outlying district owe a huge debt of gratitude to Rodney for his support and we thank him for his generous pledge."
Mr Green said he was delighted to help. "Napier, as a tourist centre and cruise ship destination, needs a number of attractions to offer the total experience on Marine Parade," he said.
Mr Church said the group had been busy raising funds for the redevelopment despite the council's decision, relying on businesses around Hawkes Bay, and around the country, for sponsorship, prizes and support for the group's cause.
"If the council really believe that only a handful of people support the redevelopment of Marineland as a marine rescue and eco-education centre and wildlife refuge then they are totally out of touch with public opinion."