Trust fund request divides councillors

One-off $40,000 approved for voyaging project.

One-off $40,000 approved for voyaging project.

TAIRAWHITI Voyaging Trust has been granted Gisborne District Council funding of $40,000, but a divided council supported the application eight votes to five, with opponents concerned about procedure and deficits.

The one-off funding will support the trust’s chief executive and a specialist waka skipper.

The trust has already raised $90,000 to support the two roles, but requires further funding of $40,000.

The trust’s waka hourua Tairawhiti was launched in Auckland on Tuesday with mayor Meng Foon in attendance, who told councillors he supported the funding application.

The $40,000 was not budgeted for by council, he said.

The double hulled waka will operate as a floating classroom, a tourism attraction and will provide “synergy” to Te Ha 1769 Sestercentennial Commemorations marking the first meeting of Maori and European.

The waka, which cost more than $1 million to build, will also play a key role in the thousand-year celebration of Polynesian/Maori voyaging planned to take place in 2019 a week before the anniversary of the arrival of Endeavour.

Pat Seymour said the trust had been asked for financial statements, but none had been produced.

Councillors were aware of the council’s financial situation, she said.

The trust could approach Eastland Community Trust or Activate Tairawhiti.

The trust was an admirable cause, Mrs Seymour said, but she could not support the application.

A scrooge at Christmas time

Brian Wilson said on this matter he was going to be Scrooge at Christmas time.

Councillors had previously indicated they wanted a fiscally disciplined process to funding applications rather than an ad hoc one.

“But here we are doing it again,” he said.

There was a fund for such applications for worthy projects.

We have to control our finances.
I won't be voting for this. - Brian Wilson

“We have to control our finances. I won’t be voting for this.”

Council funding and contracts adviser Julie Condor said there was such a fund, but there was no money it.

Mr Foon said that meant the funding application was not ad hoc.

Graeme Thomson reminded councillors that they had earlier — during the same meeting — discussed keeping to policy.

There was no budget for the trust application and to approve the application would be against council policy.

“I’m sorry, it’s a cool idea. A lot of people can come up with good ideas.

“If we open the gate, we have to be consistent, we have to be open to others who have good ideas.”

Shannon Dowsing said council had previously given the trust $10,000.

He would like to give more, but council had to work within budget.

There had been a massive budget deficit last year, and the council appeared to be heading in a similar way this year.

Bill Burdett asked if granting the funding was affordable.

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said that even if councillors saw merit in the application, there was no money available.

It would have to be funded by deficit spending.

“You have answered the question,” said Mr Burdett.

Andy Cranston also described the application as being for a great project.

He questioned if the Tairawhiti Navigations Project would be an appropriate funder, and if there were sufficient funds available with its budget.

Ms Thatcher Swann said the new waka did not meet the historical interpretation nature of the navigations project.

Karen Fenn said she was in two minds.

The application was for a very special project, which would engage young people.

It would provide a chance for them to re-engage with their culture.

“Sorry I do vote for it; we need to find the money.”

Larry Foster said one-off funding was sought for the “‘awesome” project to get it “up and running”.

It would be ongoing for years. It would be “in our face” in an upgraded harbour.

The waka would encourage tourism. It was $40,000 well spent, he said.

Malcolm MacLean said the unique cause would attract visitors to Gisborne. It was a one-off application and he supported it.

Amber Dunn said council’s previous $10,000 grant meant it was accepted the trust was viable.

She said the application was not different from that of the A & P Show, which earlier in the year was granted $20,000 per annum for 10 years.

The A & P Association applied for $50,000 in June.

Ms Thatcher Swann said the resolution for the A & P Show was to pay $20,000 in the current year (from the discretionary assistance fund) and to include future payments in the long-term plan.

TAIRAWHITI Voyaging Trust has been granted Gisborne District Council funding of $40,000, but a divided council supported the application eight votes to five, with opponents concerned about procedure and deficits.

The one-off funding will support the trust’s chief executive and a specialist waka skipper.

The trust has already raised $90,000 to support the two roles, but requires further funding of $40,000.

The trust’s waka hourua Tairawhiti was launched in Auckland on Tuesday with mayor Meng Foon in attendance, who told councillors he supported the funding application.

The $40,000 was not budgeted for by council, he said.

The double hulled waka will operate as a floating classroom, a tourism attraction and will provide “synergy” to Te Ha 1769 Sestercentennial Commemorations marking the first meeting of Maori and European.

The waka, which cost more than $1 million to build, will also play a key role in the thousand-year celebration of Polynesian/Maori voyaging planned to take place in 2019 a week before the anniversary of the arrival of Endeavour.

Pat Seymour said the trust had been asked for financial statements, but none had been produced.

Councillors were aware of the council’s financial situation, she said.

The trust could approach Eastland Community Trust or Activate Tairawhiti.

The trust was an admirable cause, Mrs Seymour said, but she could not support the application.

A scrooge at Christmas time

Brian Wilson said on this matter he was going to be Scrooge at Christmas time.

Councillors had previously indicated they wanted a fiscally disciplined process to funding applications rather than an ad hoc one.

“But here we are doing it again,” he said.

There was a fund for such applications for worthy projects.

We have to control our finances.
I won't be voting for this. - Brian Wilson

“We have to control our finances. I won’t be voting for this.”

Council funding and contracts adviser Julie Condor said there was such a fund, but there was no money it.

Mr Foon said that meant the funding application was not ad hoc.

Graeme Thomson reminded councillors that they had earlier — during the same meeting — discussed keeping to policy.

There was no budget for the trust application and to approve the application would be against council policy.

“I’m sorry, it’s a cool idea. A lot of people can come up with good ideas.

“If we open the gate, we have to be consistent, we have to be open to others who have good ideas.”

Shannon Dowsing said council had previously given the trust $10,000.

He would like to give more, but council had to work within budget.

There had been a massive budget deficit last year, and the council appeared to be heading in a similar way this year.

Bill Burdett asked if granting the funding was affordable.

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said that even if councillors saw merit in the application, there was no money available.

It would have to be funded by deficit spending.

“You have answered the question,” said Mr Burdett.

Andy Cranston also described the application as being for a great project.

He questioned if the Tairawhiti Navigations Project would be an appropriate funder, and if there were sufficient funds available with its budget.

Ms Thatcher Swann said the new waka did not meet the historical interpretation nature of the navigations project.

Karen Fenn said she was in two minds.

The application was for a very special project, which would engage young people.

It would provide a chance for them to re-engage with their culture.

“Sorry I do vote for it; we need to find the money.”

Larry Foster said one-off funding was sought for the “‘awesome” project to get it “up and running”.

It would be ongoing for years. It would be “in our face” in an upgraded harbour.

The waka would encourage tourism. It was $40,000 well spent, he said.

Malcolm MacLean said the unique cause would attract visitors to Gisborne. It was a one-off application and he supported it.

Amber Dunn said council’s previous $10,000 grant meant it was accepted the trust was viable.

She said the application was not different from that of the A & P Show, which earlier in the year was granted $20,000 per annum for 10 years.

The A & P Association applied for $50,000 in June.

Ms Thatcher Swann said the resolution for the A & P Show was to pay $20,000 in the current year (from the discretionary assistance fund) and to include future payments in the long-term plan.

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