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Wednesday
Aug142013

Major Events Sponsorship

A major change has taken place within Council in regard to its sponsorship arrangements. On the face of it, these appear to be positive and rational, and seek to overcome some of the more ad hoc arrangements that were previously in place. Fairness must be the basis on which these funds are operated, and sometimes this has been absent in the face of concerted pressure to support certain festivals while other missed out. Parochial interests can get out of hand in these cases.  

One of the moves is to establish a fund for "Icon" events such as the Beach Hop, and the Scallop Festival. The paper that went to Council as a late 'public excluded' item on this occasion avoids any mention of these festivals, and sought to deal with the allocation of $75,000 for other smaller events.

This is the wording of the Resolution that has been passed on by the Chief Executive following an OIR request:

 That the Thames-Coromandel District Council:

  1. Receives the report.
  2. Invests $50,000 from the 2013/14 Major Events Sponsorship Fund in the Coromandel Town Winter Lights Festival.
  3. Invests $12,500 from the 2013/14 Major Events Sponsorship Fund in the Totally Thames Mind Sport event on the condition that the event moves to a late February or March and that Council recommends to the Thames Community Board to support the initiative/event.
  4. That Council agree to fund by internalising costs for consenting, road closures and building permits of events that successfully meet the Major Event criteria .
  5. $10k will be given to the Wings and Wheels for the proposed event subject to meeting the shoulder season event criteria.
  6. $2,500 will be given to the JetSki Tairua.

The Chief Executive provided the scoring sheet used to assess these applications, but stated

"however as the report contains the information relating to business plans and proposals that have yet to be fully implemented, under 7(2)(b)(ii) and 7(2)(j) of the Local Government Official Information Act 1987 (LGOIMA) the report is being withheld. 

Again, the Act is being used to withhold important information that should be in the public arena. Presumably it relates to the Totally Thames Mind Sport event - whatever that is. It has received a grant of $12,5000 grant direct from rates. I requested further information regarding this event and was told by the Chief Executive:

Bill, I will get either Ben or Greg to give you more information about the Mindsport Event.

David

That was at 3.59pm yesterday. I have yet to hear from Ben (Day) or Greg (Hampton), and await their call with great interest. 

I am absolutely gobstruck at what this Mindsport event is all about, and why it is necessary to keep it secret. I have heard that it involves chess, bridge, pontoon, and other parlour games played in some large tournament format, and that it will "bring thousands of visitors to Thames over a weekend". Well that remains to be seen, it is just what our $12,500 is to be spent on that puzzles me - perhaps 'Mind-games' may be a better description. .

The $50,000 allocated to the Coromandel Winter Lights Festival seems excessive when one considers that many of the other applicants missed out on any allocation (presumably because of their 'scoring' - that appears to be based on a whole range of subjective judgements). Note that these first two items are characterised as "investments" while the others are giveaways. 

I would be gratified (as I am sure would readers of this post) were anyone from Totally Thames (a Thames business group with impeccable credentials as far as I am aware) was prepared to provide any enlightenment on this matter, and in particular as to why it must remain 'secret'.

  


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Reader Comments (2)

I must assume that the score-card has been made public so that those groups intending to bid were aware of the criteria they are required to meet, otherwise, as you suggest, there is a big issue with fairness and equity. The are a great number of small groups who have been working away quietly on their projects for some years for whom a grant provides much needed assistance, so that the arbitrary allocation of significant funding to a 'new' group (relatively speaking) for some project that few seem to have heard of will come as something of a surprise. I have heard (small) talk of Thames becoming the mind-sport capital of the country, and am intrigued to know who thought up the idea. Is it part of the urban development strategy perhaps? If so, it fits in nicely with the Wintec hub / civic centre thingy talked in the recently 'endorsed for further consideration' strategy...
Your comments regarding missing the TCB out of the deliberation process, and the public deserving more detailed information, are particularly pertinent. Shame no one seems to be listening.

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

I cannot believe Mr Hampton knew nothing about this. Politically if this has not been past the Thames Community Board for endorsement it makes a mockery of "Empowerment". Is this locally funded? If so how was this decided to be a priority, especially as to my knowledge does not appear in the 10 year plan. Unbelievable that this was in public excluded.

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSailing Away

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