Flower Show’s Hands in Your Pockets?

Press Release – Affordable Auckland

Flower Show’s Hands in Your Pockets?

Kate Hillier is one of the organisers of a new flower show to be held at Bastion Park in November 2016. She has approached the ATEED (Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development) CCO for funding for the event. Affordable Auckland Mayoral and Albany candidate Stephen Berry says, “Welfare, whether it be social or corporate, is not a core role of local government. I’m calling on ATEED to decline this application and prevent the ratepayer subsidising huge potential losses.”

After the Ellerslie Flower Show moved to Christchurch in 2007, Hillier ran the event. It ran a profit only in 2009 and cost the Christchurch City Council more than $816,000 in losses during its final two years. “Hillier’s track record in running botanical events shows little promise if the event has only been profitable for one out of seven years. Should ATEED really be following Christchurch’s failed corporate welfare policies?”

“This issue has echoes of the decision made by Auckland Council to fund V8 racing in Pukekohe in 2012 to the tune of $10.8 million after the event had broken Hamilton City Council with a $30 million bill.” says Berry. “Ms. Hillier is very confident the flower show will succeed in Auckland and with our larger population she may well be right. Therefore she doesn’t need any funding from ATEED if the event is sure to be a profitable success..”

Stephen Berry says any role ATEED takes should be simply ensuring basic Council services can deal with the event. “It is perfectly reasonable to ensure public transport is available and that traffic management takes place. However aside from that they should keep our cash out of the hands of the event holders.”

Stephen Berry has committed to keeping all future rates increases below the rate of inflation, currently sitting at 0.4%. He will achieve this by reviewing all Council operations and ensuring its functions are restricted to the core roles detailed in the Local Government Act such as ensuring proper network infrastructure, waste collection and provision of public transport.

Stephen Berry previously stood for Mayor in 2013, finishing in third place with 4% of the vote.


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