Council takes hard line on funding requests

'I let you know right now we are under tremendous financial pressure.'

'I let you know right now we are under tremendous financial pressure.'

File picture

GISBORNE District Council has cut back or refused requests for financial assistance from two major community events, the A and P Show and the Gisborne International Music Competition. Mayor Meng Foon has said the council is under tremendous financial pressure.

Both events sought money from the $200,000 discretionary assistance fund, but the council was told there was only $48,960 left in that fund for the year.

The A and P Association wanted $50,000 sponsorship towards the annual spring show and the Music Competition asked for a waiver of its $4967 fee for hiring the War Memorial Theatre.

Instead, the A and P Association was given $20,000 and the council will include an annual contribution of $20,000 a year for the life of the draft 2018-2028 long-term annual plan, which will be consulted on next year.

A motion to grant the association $40,000 this year was defeated, as was the music competition’s waiver request.

A and P general manager Erica McNeil said the Show was the biggest community event in Gisborne.

The association had $80,000 in reserves and another $30,000 in a savings account. But it would like a buffer in case of a wet show, and support from the council would be appreciated.

Pat Seymour said the two events brought huge interest and kudos to the town.

The music competition had been run voluntarily by the Rotary club for 25 years. A group of enthusiastic people had taken it over. It was a hand-to- mouth exercise — they did not have a lot of money in the bank.

The A and P Show had been a significant event for 125 years. This was a small contribution sought for things like security and traffic-calming, all of which came at a significant cost. She moved that the council approve sponsorship of $40,000.

Brian Wilson said he would not question the worth of the two organisations but this was a discretionary fund set up to meet one-off requests from people as part of the annual plan.

He did not want to see the same applications from the same organisations come back year after year. If these organisations got an annual grant, nobody else would get a look in.

Shannon Dowsing said the music competition had another request to a different fund declined. They had money in the bank and were projecting a profit of just under $14,000.

Theatre hire waiver declined

The council would be going against its financial strategy and he moved the theatre hire waiver be declined.

Rehette Stoltz tried to move the waiver be granted but did not receive a seconder, prompting a comment from her of “Seriously people?”

Andy Cranston said $10,000 for the Show last year “only just got over the line.” Now the council was being asked for $50,000. Was there a real need for ratepayers to fund $50,000 a year? If they gave this, why should Rhythym and Vines not come asking for money?

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said the council grant towards a free bus to the Show had allowed people who could not otherwise afford it the chance to attend. A portion of the public did not get to see these events.

Josh Wharehinga said he was constantly contacted by groups wanting to use the War Memorial Theatre for free. If they let everybody use it for free, there would be zero income.

Karen Fenn said the Show gave entry-level employment for young people, benefiting the community.

Larry Foster said A and P Shows were flourishing around the country and were what the true New Zealand was about. The council should get behind it. But once the council started waiving fees, it would just create animosity and he was not in favour.

Bill Burdett said the Show was almost the biggest occasion in Gisborne — the Coast emptied out for it. These organisations were audited ... why make it tough for them because they had a few dollars in the bank?

But the council should not waive theatre fees, it had spent a fortune putting it in place.

Malcolm Maclean said he found it difficult to allocate money to the Show without any financials on the table.

“I think it is important that before we give away $40,000 we see the figures.”

Once one organisation was given the theatre for free, everybody would come to the council for the same treatment and there would be no money coming in.

Mayor Meng Foon said if the council gave a steady $20,000 for the next 10 years, at least the association would know what was in their budget.

“I let you know right now we are under tremendous financial pressure.”

The rates increase next year could be anywhere from 4 to 6 percent. People were lobbying for the swimming pool and many other things.

“Sometimes we have to be a bit hard and that is how it is. Money is limited.”

GISBORNE District Council has cut back or refused requests for financial assistance from two major community events, the A and P Show and the Gisborne International Music Competition. Mayor Meng Foon has said the council is under tremendous financial pressure.

Both events sought money from the $200,000 discretionary assistance fund, but the council was told there was only $48,960 left in that fund for the year.

The A and P Association wanted $50,000 sponsorship towards the annual spring show and the Music Competition asked for a waiver of its $4967 fee for hiring the War Memorial Theatre.

Instead, the A and P Association was given $20,000 and the council will include an annual contribution of $20,000 a year for the life of the draft 2018-2028 long-term annual plan, which will be consulted on next year.

A motion to grant the association $40,000 this year was defeated, as was the music competition’s waiver request.

A and P general manager Erica McNeil said the Show was the biggest community event in Gisborne.

The association had $80,000 in reserves and another $30,000 in a savings account. But it would like a buffer in case of a wet show, and support from the council would be appreciated.

Pat Seymour said the two events brought huge interest and kudos to the town.

The music competition had been run voluntarily by the Rotary club for 25 years. A group of enthusiastic people had taken it over. It was a hand-to- mouth exercise — they did not have a lot of money in the bank.

The A and P Show had been a significant event for 125 years. This was a small contribution sought for things like security and traffic-calming, all of which came at a significant cost. She moved that the council approve sponsorship of $40,000.

Brian Wilson said he would not question the worth of the two organisations but this was a discretionary fund set up to meet one-off requests from people as part of the annual plan.

He did not want to see the same applications from the same organisations come back year after year. If these organisations got an annual grant, nobody else would get a look in.

Shannon Dowsing said the music competition had another request to a different fund declined. They had money in the bank and were projecting a profit of just under $14,000.

Theatre hire waiver declined

The council would be going against its financial strategy and he moved the theatre hire waiver be declined.

Rehette Stoltz tried to move the waiver be granted but did not receive a seconder, prompting a comment from her of “Seriously people?”

Andy Cranston said $10,000 for the Show last year “only just got over the line.” Now the council was being asked for $50,000. Was there a real need for ratepayers to fund $50,000 a year? If they gave this, why should Rhythym and Vines not come asking for money?

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said the council grant towards a free bus to the Show had allowed people who could not otherwise afford it the chance to attend. A portion of the public did not get to see these events.

Josh Wharehinga said he was constantly contacted by groups wanting to use the War Memorial Theatre for free. If they let everybody use it for free, there would be zero income.

Karen Fenn said the Show gave entry-level employment for young people, benefiting the community.

Larry Foster said A and P Shows were flourishing around the country and were what the true New Zealand was about. The council should get behind it. But once the council started waiving fees, it would just create animosity and he was not in favour.

Bill Burdett said the Show was almost the biggest occasion in Gisborne — the Coast emptied out for it. These organisations were audited ... why make it tough for them because they had a few dollars in the bank?

But the council should not waive theatre fees, it had spent a fortune putting it in place.

Malcolm Maclean said he found it difficult to allocate money to the Show without any financials on the table.

“I think it is important that before we give away $40,000 we see the figures.”

Once one organisation was given the theatre for free, everybody would come to the council for the same treatment and there would be no money coming in.

Mayor Meng Foon said if the council gave a steady $20,000 for the next 10 years, at least the association would know what was in their budget.

“I let you know right now we are under tremendous financial pressure.”

The rates increase next year could be anywhere from 4 to 6 percent. People were lobbying for the swimming pool and many other things.

“Sometimes we have to be a bit hard and that is how it is. Money is limited.”

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wiki gerrard - 2 years ago
Money is only limited because of the wasteful amount spent to build the new GDC building. Community events should always get a helping hand from the council I would think.

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