A gold medal effort
Hosted in Christchurch, the 1974 Commonwealth Games was an historic event for New Zealand. It saw the introduction of colour TV and led to the building of QEII park. As the major sponsor, BNZ supported the 'friendly games' with a range of initiatives.
BNZ gave up 4,500 square feet of its office space for the Games Headquarters. Other supporters such as Chubb Lock and Safe Company and IBM Corporation provided vital office equipment including a large safe and typewriters.
To assist visitors, forty-three BNZ staff members from New Zealand, Fiji and Western Samoa volunteered. The uniform included red tunic dresses patterned in white with the 1974 Commonwealth Games symbol. At QEII, a unique BNZ branch was established. Dubbed the 'Futuro Branch', it's spaceship appearance and eye-catching orange coat made it an iconic fixture.
Alongside a significant grant of $30,000 the Bank also sold commemorative $2 Coins, producing an income of over $377,000. In today's dollars this would equate to more than $4 million.
The games are widely recalled as a successful event and by all accounts a community effort. New Zealand landed fourth on the medals table with a haul of 9 gold, 8 silver and 18 bronze medals. Christchurch remains the smallest city to ever host the modern Commonwealth Games.
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