That Thing in the Park is can­celled

Central Leader - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

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.”

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