Coun­cils of­fer $100k for events


A pro­posed $100,000 fund for at­tract­ing in­ter­na­tional events to Manawatu will be propped up by ratepay­ers district-wide.

The Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil ap­proved the ad­di­tional pro­gramme to be es­tab­lished this year in part­ner­ship with the Manawatu District Coun­cil last week.

Calls for ac­tion came from the Manawatu Golf Club and Man­feild, which re­quested more sup­port for bring­ing na­tional and in­ter­na­tional events, such as the New Zealand Grand Prix and the New Zealand PGA cham­pi­onship, to the re­gion.

It’s some­thing they said had fallen through the gaps with the es­tab­lish­ment of the Cen­tral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Agency (CEDA).

Event or­gan­is­ers will ap­ply to CEDA, which gov­erns the fund against a set of cri­te­ria.

Th­ese have yet to be de­ter­mined, but are as­sumed to be based on re­gional eco­nomic re­turn.

Man­feild chief ex­ec­u­tive Julie Keane said an eco­nomic re­port in 2013 showed the Feild­ing venue’s ben­e­fit to the re­gion was es­ti­mated to be $52 mil­lion.

The park at­tracted more than 80,000 vis­i­tors, with 59 per cent com­ing from out­side the re­gion, spend­ing $29m, she said.

Palmer­ston North mayor Grant Smith said the re­gion was ‘‘ma­jorly un­done’’ and could do ‘‘a lot more’’ to bring peo­ple in.

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