City coun­cil cuts back on world cup spending

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

The threat of global re­ces­sion has prompted politi­cians to pare back spending on the Rugby World Cup.

Auck­land City Coun­cil has trimmed plans for ac­tiv­i­ties and pro­mo­tions dur­ing the 2011 tour­na­ment to $28.8 mil­lion, from the pre­vi­ous $33.9m.

Arts, cul­ture and recre­ation com­mit­tee chair­man Greg Moyle said he was dis­ap­pointed but “felt com­pelled to re­move $5m from the project”.

He said at last week’s meet­ing the coun­cil needed to act re­spon­si­bly in light of the global eco­nomic cri­sis.

“We are hope­ful that we may be able to re­con­sider th­ese items and bring them back in fu­ture years.”

Sav­ings will be made by cuts to large-scale city dress­ing projects, such as build­ing wraps and lighting.

Arts and cul­tural pro­gram­ming, in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, pub­lic art and busi­ness pro­grammes will also be cut or scaled back.

The change brings the coun­cil’s to­tal planned spend on the 2011 tour­na­ment to $60.8m.

That in­cludes $32m on cap­i­tal projects in the Eden Park precinct and pos­si­ble train­ing grounds, as well as the $28.8m on ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the cup.

Mayor John Banks de­fended the spend at the meet­ing, say­ing the coun­cil had to put money into host­ing the cup.

“No ma­jor OECD city is go­ing to bid for the third big­gest sport­ing event in the world on the ba­sis of not putting up any dol­lars,” he said.

A bid by coun­cil­lor Richard Northey to have fund­ing op­tions put to the pub­lic for feed­back was de­feated.

“The pub­lic ought to be con­sulted about what level of fund­ing is ap­pro­pri­ate for this,” he said.

The fund­ing will be confi through the coun­cil’s 2009-2019 10-year plan.

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