Creek­fest clashes

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

The Porirua Healthlinks Trust is forg­ing ahead with its or­gan­i­sa­tion of Creek­fest 2011 de­spite calls from the event’s for­mer chief spon­sor – Cap­i­tal & Coast District Health Board – for more com­mu­nity-in­put in its plan­ning.

The an­nual event at Can­nons Creek Park, which pro­motes cul­ture, sport and health, is sched­uled to be held for the ninth time on March 12.

Long-time or­gan­iser Healthlinks no longer re­ceives fund­ing from Cap­i­tal & Coast and are busy ap­ply­ing for grants. Its ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Liz Kelly says for­mer Cap­i­tal & Coast chair­man Ken Whe­lan gave her a ver­bal as­sur­ance the health board would ‘‘con­tinue to sup­port Healthlinks fa­cil­i­tat­ing Creek­fest’’, but now be­lieves an event man­ager has been brought in to pos­si­bly take over.

‘‘It was a ma­jor blow when we found out the DHB would not sup­port us, but we held an ex­tremely suc­cess­ful event any­way [this year]. We man­aged to get a lot of spon­sors and peo­ple were re­ally pleased; some said it was the best ever. But, just be­cause Healthlinks was funded by the DHB once upon a time, they think they own Creek­fest, and they don’t. Healthlinks cre­ated it and we hold it in trust – if it’s run by Cap­i­tal & Coast you’d have a health event that no-one will turn up to.’’

Cap­i­tal & Coast’s di­rec­tor of plan­ning and fund­ing San­dra Wil­liams has a con­trary view to Ms Kelly. She says since they parted ways with Healthlinks the health board has still looked to sup­port Creek­fest but ‘‘has no wish to run the event our­selves as this would be out­side our re­mit as a health provider’’.

She says feed­back they re­ceived on Creek­fest 2010 sug­gested some sec­tions of the Porirua com­mu­nity were not happy with its or­gan­i­sa­tion. De­ci­sions were made with­out in­put and peo­ple were de­nied the chance to take an ac­tive role in its prepa­ra­tion.

Im­por­tantly, she in­sists, the com­mu­nity has not been given the op­por­tu­nity to choose who should ac­tu­ally ad­min­is­ter Creek­fest ‘‘and we await some clar­ity around this’’.

‘‘[We] will gladly come along to any meet­ings to move this for­ward. How­ever, we are not aware of any full com­mu­nity meet­ings that have been held or or­gan­ised to as­cer­tain their wishes for next year’s event and when it will be held. Mean­while, a seem­ingly ar­bi­trary date [March 12 for the event] has been cho­sen by Porirua Healthlinks with­out con­sul­ta­tion with oth­ers.’’

Ms Kelly, how­ever, says they have al­ready held meet­ings with Porirua City Coun­cil, the Op­por- tu­nity Cen­tre, Fanau Cen­tre, Taea­manino Trust, Pa­cific Health and Ora Toa, in­clud­ing one last week, and these will be­come even more fre­quent the closer Creek­fest draws near.

A grant of $4000 from PCC’s Cre­ative Com­mu­nity Fund has also been ap­proved.

‘‘The con­sen­sus we have from peo­ple is that if the DHB want to be a part of this, then great, but if they don’t then Creek­fest will still hap­pen any­way. They don’t own it, the peo­ple do. Things are in mo­tion, the date has been set, the stage is booked and we have stalls booked al­ready.

‘‘At the end of the day it’s now one of Porirua’s ma­jor cal­en­dar events, and it’s an op­por­tu­nity to show­case Porirua East in a pos­i­tive light. Let’s not for­get that.’’

The next pub­lic meet­ing is at the Op­por­tu­nity Cen­tre on Oc­to­ber 29, from noon.

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