That Thing in the Park is cancelled
A major funding shortfall for this month’s Pasifika Festival means a youth event will be cancelled this year.
That Thing in the Park, organised by the Auckland City Council, had its $22,000 budget given to Pasifika to help manage the festival’s $355,000 deficit.
The one-day event, held at Potters Park in Balmoral, was to be part of National Youth Week beginning on May 23.
It is the only event cancelled by the council this year to help with the shortfall.
Arts, culture and recreation committee chairman Greg Moyle says cancelling the funding for Pasifika’s opening night concert saved $130,000 but more saving was required.
“The remaining $225,000 will come from the city events budget by cutting back on staff training, research and marketing for remaining events planned, and feasibility studies on new events.”
Councillor Glenda Fryer says she is devastated that an event for youth has been the only event cut.
She wanted to keep the event by using surplus money from the Rugby World Cup 2011 budget but was out-voted at last month’s committee meeting.
“I’m bitterly disappointed that an event aimed at young people has had to be cancelled. It’s a tragedy because we had options.”
That Thing in the Park was developed in collaboration with the YMCA and the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand.
MAINZ students were able to use the event to develop management skills, and it gave emerging bands an opportunity to perform. Other activities included a basketball competition, rock climbing wall and DJ and dance workshops.
The first event was staged in 2007 with 2500 people attending. Last year’s event attracted only 1000.
Mr Moyle says there are at least 15 councilorganised events specifically for young adults, including an Auckland City Youth Council which acts on behalf of young people aged between 12 and 24.
“Young people attend and participate in many other festivals and community events we deliver too.”