The cost of Porirua’s bumper sum­mer


A bumper set of top-shelf events has left Porirua City Coun­cil with an ex­pen­sive hang­over.

An am­bi­tious sum­mer en­ter­tain­ment sched­ule - which in­cluded Sym­phony in the Park fea­tur­ing Sol3 Mio at Porirua Park - stretched some coun­cil staff beyond sus­tain­able lev­els and will likely plunge the events bud­get $33,000 into the red.

While ticket sales and cor­po­rate spon­sor­ship cov­ered much of the $227,000 sym­phony’s pro­duc­tion, the coun­cil still forked out twice what it had ini­tially bud­geted for the event - $80,000 all up.

The cost over­run was due to a num­ber of fac­tors in­clud­ing the need for more toi­lets and a bet­ter sound sys­tem.

But the coun­cil’s man­ager of city growth and strate­gic prop­erty, Dar­ryn Grant, is clear: next year won’t be a quiet one.

‘‘We were able to de­liver [Sym­phony in the Park] with the sup­port of a num­ber of teams from across coun­cil, how­ever this may not al­ways be pos­si­ble.

‘‘For fu­ture events, we’ll be able to more ac­cu­rately bud­get now that we have a bench­mark for this level of event.

‘‘We are still plan­ning on a strong pro­gramme of events for next year and are in the process of seek­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for our Ma­jor Events In­vest­ment Fund,’’ Grant said.

This year, the coun­cil also cre­ated a Wai­tangi Day event en­joyed by 30,000 peo­ple to re­place the Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments, which fin­ished af­ter vol­un­teers were no longer able to man­age its pop­u­lar­ity.

The costs were re­vealed in a 2017/2018 sum­mer events de­brief­ing re­port pre­pared by Grant for the coun­cil’s Grants, Awards and Events Sub­Com­mit­tee.

Sym­phony in the Park, which drew about 7000 fans to hear the Samoan singing su­per­stars in March, was the first big con­cert to grace Porirua Park where vis­i­tors might nor­mally cheer for the North­ern United Rugby Foot­ball Club from Jerry Collins Sta­dium.

Grant said the unique na­ture of the event lead to un­fore­seen costs.

‘‘The pop­u­lar­ity of the event meant we had to hire ad­di­tional toi­lets and tem­po­rary light­ing in some ar­eas for health and safety rea­sons.

‘‘We also had to up­grade the sound sys­tem to ex­tend its reach so ev­ery­one re­ceived a qual­ity sound.’’

Deputy mayor Izzy Ford, chair­woman of the coun­cil’s sub­com­mit­tee, said Porirua had never staged an event of that mag­ni­tude be­fore.

‘‘The events team and staff from across coun­cil pulled to­gether to bring an amaz­ing night of per­for­mance to our city, one that not only show­cased Porirua Park as an in­ter­na­tional venue to the re­gion, but also our very own born and bred lo­cal ta­lent.

‘‘Over­all, they kept costs down by run­ning the event in­house rather than con­tract­ing out like most cities do, and our staff took a lot of learn­ings from this sum­mer, that they will use to in­form the next sum­mers pro­gramme, and hope­fully the weather gods will smile down on us again.

‘‘The feed­back from the com­mu­nity and wider re­gion was that it was re­ally a mag­i­cal evening.’’


The ground at Porirua Park, as well as Jerry Collins Sta­dium, was packed for Sol3 Mio.

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