Kids’ Carnival chaos

AMBITIOUS EVENT: The first Kids Christmas Street Carnival event organised by Heart of Gisborne was designed to be an affordable Christmas outing for families. Thousands attended, but due to the huge turnout and a shortage of volunteers, it brought out the worst in some participants. Pictures by Liam Clayton
Kids Christmas Street Carnival: Camryn Smith 7, AJ Parsons 4.
Kids Christmas Street Carnival.
Kids Christmas Street Carnival.
Kids Christmas Street Carnival.

GREED, theft, mess and terrible treatment of hard-working volunteers was a sad reality of the day, said Heart of Gisborne manager Lana Davy about the Kids’ Christmas Street Carnival held at Peel Street and in Treble Court yesterday.

Ms Davy said that while the annual Santa Parade was a success with about 10,000 people enjoying the high quality of floats, she acknowledged the Kids’ Carnival was too busy and volunteers were under considerable pressure to deliver the meals, treats and activities to the 3200 people who had purchased the $5 tickets used as currency.

“Sadly the Kids’ Carnival will not happen in this form again,” she said.

“To those few hundred of you who wrecked it for the others, bow your heads.”

Ms Davy said she was disappointed by the actions of some who stole everything from drinks to prizes.

She had planned on having the help of 120 volunteers but many did not show up, meaning those who did had to do more than their fair share of the work.

Heart of Gisborne relies on volunteers and community support.

“These events are impossible to run without support. So if you say you’ll help, please turn up.”

There were also plenty of positive comments about the event and the organisers from many of the thousands who attended.

The volunteers did incredibly well under the circumstances, Ms Davy said.

“Thank you all more than words can say for the mahi.”

Subsidised event for families

Tackling the clean-up today, Ms Davy said the idea of the carnival was to provide a subsidised event for families close to Christmas and to make it affordable for everyone.

But she was shocked by some of the behaviour she saw, including one parent telling her children to grab as much as they could from the Lucky Dip box.

It was ambitious to do two events on one day with only one other paid staff member to help with the organisation, she said.

“Next time the area would have to be fenced, allowing entry to cardholders only,” Ms Davy said.

As well as the hundreds who responded positively to the event, the main criticism was the location.

“Great event but I suggest another location for our safety,” said one Facebook respondent.

Ms Davy said she understood people wanting to see it being somewhere bigger and grassy.

“Unfortunately to utilise the road closure and save costs so that we could offer you this value-for-money, subsidised event, we had to use this area. Also we are limited to where we can have it as Heart of Gisborne can only use the city centre.”

Heart of Gisborne has also run two hugely successful events this year, First Light Kai Street Food Festival in January and the Street Food Fiesta in October.

The next event is Santa’s Grotto opening in Treble Court on December 13. This is a free event which includes a photo with Santa, bouncy castles, facepainting, story times, Christmas decorating activities and free gift wrapping with tokens from the retailers. It will run every day up until Christmas Eve.

GREED, theft, mess and terrible treatment of hard-working volunteers was a sad reality of the day, said Heart of Gisborne manager Lana Davy about the Kids’ Christmas Street Carnival held at Peel Street and in Treble Court yesterday.

Ms Davy said that while the annual Santa Parade was a success with about 10,000 people enjoying the high quality of floats, she acknowledged the Kids’ Carnival was too busy and volunteers were under considerable pressure to deliver the meals, treats and activities to the 3200 people who had purchased the $5 tickets used as currency.

“Sadly the Kids’ Carnival will not happen in this form again,” she said.

“To those few hundred of you who wrecked it for the others, bow your heads.”

Ms Davy said she was disappointed by the actions of some who stole everything from drinks to prizes.

She had planned on having the help of 120 volunteers but many did not show up, meaning those who did had to do more than their fair share of the work.

Heart of Gisborne relies on volunteers and community support.

“These events are impossible to run without support. So if you say you’ll help, please turn up.”

There were also plenty of positive comments about the event and the organisers from many of the thousands who attended.

The volunteers did incredibly well under the circumstances, Ms Davy said.

“Thank you all more than words can say for the mahi.”

Subsidised event for families

Tackling the clean-up today, Ms Davy said the idea of the carnival was to provide a subsidised event for families close to Christmas and to make it affordable for everyone.

But she was shocked by some of the behaviour she saw, including one parent telling her children to grab as much as they could from the Lucky Dip box.

It was ambitious to do two events on one day with only one other paid staff member to help with the organisation, she said.

“Next time the area would have to be fenced, allowing entry to cardholders only,” Ms Davy said.

As well as the hundreds who responded positively to the event, the main criticism was the location.

“Great event but I suggest another location for our safety,” said one Facebook respondent.

Ms Davy said she understood people wanting to see it being somewhere bigger and grassy.

“Unfortunately to utilise the road closure and save costs so that we could offer you this value-for-money, subsidised event, we had to use this area. Also we are limited to where we can have it as Heart of Gisborne can only use the city centre.”

Heart of Gisborne has also run two hugely successful events this year, First Light Kai Street Food Festival in January and the Street Food Fiesta in October.

The next event is Santa’s Grotto opening in Treble Court on December 13. This is a free event which includes a photo with Santa, bouncy castles, facepainting, story times, Christmas decorating activities and free gift wrapping with tokens from the retailers. It will run every day up until Christmas Eve.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Ada Geuze, Carterton - 6 months ago
Should never have done this on the Lord's day.

Cj - 6 months ago
Go to Winz for the job seeker beneficiaries, get them to "volunteer" to do some work for their benefit! Then you wouldn't have to wonder if anyone will turn up cos they have no choice but to do it, if they don't want their benefit cut in half etc...

Lizz Crawford - 6 months ago
Heart of Gisborne had a great idea and I totally tautoko what they were trying to achieve. It is sad that not everyone's heart is in the same place, that volunteers did not show, especially at this time of the year. Heart of Gisborne came up with affordable activities, so the format needed a tweak and maybe next time if there's more than two or three children make the ticket a concession - but so much was provided for so little. When was the last time this happened in Gizzy? Somebody please reply and tell me. #tautokoHeartofGisborne

wasnt me..... - 6 months ago
Great Gisborne parenting, sad to say!! Teaching their kids to steal, "Gizzy Proud"... no respect. Hard work ruined by the lower class of Gisborne.

Social Advocates New Zealand (SANZ) - 6 months ago
It's an outright disgrace when you get greedy parents who abuse the kindness and hard work of others to put a smile and a little hope into the hearts of their children, our children, and the community. There is always that few who push the limits. These parents ought to be ashamed of themselves, and you all know who you are.

'Heart of Gisborne', We're really sorry to hear about your wonderful and kind gesture offered to the community being ruined by a few. Social Advocates New Zealand (SANZ) will be happy to volunteer help at next year's event (You can find us on Facebook).

SANZ