Ratepayers hit up for $1.25 million for carnival

February 25th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Katie Chapman at Dom Post reports:

The Cuba St Carnival is back – but not as you know it.

Five years after funding woes ended the carnival, a new festival will be launched as one of two new events designed to bolster the capital’s events calendar.

As well as putting $250,000 towards a new Cuba St festival next year, the Wellington City Council is planning a New Year’s Eve celebration.

The announcement of the two events comes on the back of criticism that the council was not putting enough focus on boosting the city’s economy.

The last Cuba St Carnival was held in 2009, but the loss of council funding and spiralling costs saw the event canned in 2010. The Creative Capital Arts Trust was set up in 2011, with rejuvenating the event a key purpose.

Yesterday, the trust and the council confirmed a new festival would launch next year. The basic premise of an event celebrating Cuba St would stay the same, but the event would be different, trust chairman Tim Brown said.

The new annual event – called the Cuba St Festival for now – will run for two days in late March or early April.

The old carnival had become too big in both size and budget, Mr Brown said. The new event would cost about $500,000 for the first year.

I’m not against the ratepayers making a modest contribution to key events in Wellington. But $1.25 million over five years is a huge amount of money, and represents half the total cost of the festival. That’s too much.

The announcement comes after Kirkcaldie & Stains managing director John Milford’s criticism of the council last week for failing to help boost retail activity.

Mr Milford welcomed news of the two events yesterday, saying it was exactly what was needed to help bring vibrancy to the city.

If the event is to help retailers, should it not be funded from their rates, rather than everyone’s rates?

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24 Responses to “Ratepayers hit up for $1.25 million for carnival”

  1. CHFR (219 comments) says:

    Well as a rate payer in Wellington if Mr Milford wants help to boost retail activity he can get his company to help pay for it. Holy Hell how rich do they thunk we are in Wellington??

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  2. redqueen (456 comments) says:

    Given all the money that is extorted into the Wellington regional economy through government ‘services’, very rich indeed :) There is, I must say, a certain irony in Wellington being run by a bunch of socialist numpties, and I’ve heard they really are that much worse this term (even compared with last).

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  3. EAD (618 comments) says:

    Can’t afford $20k for Christmas lights and a Christmas tree but $250k for a carnival which I can only begin to imagine what the themes are going to be. Correction – I know exactly what the carnival will be “celebrating”.

    Still think local body politics does not involve itself in propaganda?

    Silly me, here I was thinking local government was about rubbish collection, waterworks, parks and roading.

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  4. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    Does anyone know what the Auckland Council paid towards the pride week?

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  5. MT_Tinman (2,993 comments) says:

    Go for it Wellington – you voted the council in.

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  6. RRM (9,467 comments) says:

    Spend like there’s no tomorrow Celia. :-(

    Remember Wellington, you liked this lot so much you voted them back in..

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  7. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    Party hearty RRM :)

    Looks like you guys are trying to outdo pants down brown.

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  8. questions (168 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird says: “Does anyone know what the Auckland Council paid towards the pride week?”

    No, but I’d be surprised if you didn’t? I’m sure you were hanging off every little detail.

    You could probably even give us a review of it?

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  9. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    Does anyone know what the Auckland Council paid towards the pride week?

    Nothing. Auckland is a net borrower at the margin so it isn’t the same as spending real money.

    Go for it pants down – you’ll have to hurry if you want to beat Celia into double digit billions of debt!

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  10. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    EAD>Correction – I know exactly what the carnival will be “celebrating”.

    You’re more enlightened than I am then, and I’ve attended one. What were we celebrating, apart from a sunny summer day, live music, and a cool evening parade?

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  11. wreck1080 (3,732 comments) says:

    We let the farmers contaminate our waterways for free (see the govt study released a couple of months back) because otherwise the cleanup bill would make milk more costly. For those of you who disagree with the government research, please cite research that shows farmers do no environmental damage to waterways.

    Same applies. If farmers can have the cost of their business subsidised then why not wellington retailers?

    Just saying.

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  12. Manolo (13,375 comments) says:

    Money is only paper that grows on trees, shouts the incompetent Luddite Wade-Brown.

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  13. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Another example of inept council elected by non-ratepayers. We must, right now, have principal ratepayers only, voting in local body elections. Take a look at the voting stats and it is obvious, the lefties have infiltrated the domain of hard pressed ratepayers, with ideals of envy and vengeance on the already overburdened few.

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  14. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    To think that more sensible councils like Porirua and Upper Hutt might be forced to merge and have to pay for all this.

    WCC is a disgrace, and so is the idea of a merger.

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  15. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @gazzmaniac,

    It seems that Porirua want to, but UH, LH, Kapiti and Wairarapa don’t

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  16. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    To think that more sensible councils like Porirua and Upper Hutt might be forced to merge and have to pay for all this.

    Hardly. Have you looked at the difference in property values? If there is a merger, stuff like this will be going on across the whole region and we in Wellington city will be paying for most of it.

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  17. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    The last council anyone wants to merge with is Porirua. Tawa were very lucky to join Wellinton many years ago, even though it was not wanted, but the better of two evils. More Geoffrey Palmer legislation that stuffed everything. In the old days Tawa was a financially secure and efficient little borough, with minimal overheads. Along came the Local Government Amendment Act, thanks to Palmer, and now it supports an empire of leeching bureaucrats on fat salaries, ratepayers doing the paying.

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  18. Liberty (236 comments) says:

    What a waste of money.
    If Cuba St want to improve its fortunes it is very simple.
    Paint the shops so the street looks vibrant. instead
    Of a third world hovel. And Clean out the bums.

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  19. alwyn (380 comments) says:

    You say, and I agree with you, that the “party” should be paid for from retailer’s rates, rather than the general ratepayer.
    To be fair the story in the paper does say that “The council has committed $250,000 a year for five years to the project, with funding coming from an economic initiatives fund”
    If this is what I think it is it is funded by businesses, rather than householders so that is approximately what is happening. Of course that will no doubt catch your business as well.
    That is the fund they refused to spend money from to promote business relationships with India from, mostly because the idea was from John Morrison.

    I think it is a vast waste of money, whoever is forced to produce the money, but the denizens of Cuba Street are likely to be Green supporters and have to be paid off.

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  20. backster (2,079 comments) says:

    ” Does anyone know what the Auckland Council paid towards the pride week?”

    Yep, $500,000 but don’t worry they cut it from the Rescue Helicopter budget.

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  21. 2boyz (250 comments) says:

    As a Wellingtonian I still haven’t come across anyone that actually voted for CWB, or would admit to voting for her. It’s one extreme to the other, get pulled over the coals for not spending $20K on Christmas lights (town needed them) and then decide lets spend $500K on a street party which my gut feeling tells me will fail. My new years resolution was to be more optimistic but how can you be with a council like this.

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  22. tedbear (127 comments) says:

    “If the event is to help retailers, should it not be funded from their rates, rather than everyone’s rates?”
    Any event staged for retailers should be paid for 100% by retailers.

    If any council expects ratepayers to cough up for events such as this, then a percentage of the revenue from such be must returned to the ratepayers.

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  23. Steve (North Shore) (4,499 comments) says:

    So Wellywood can now stop poking borax at us Jaffas for having Lying Len Brown.
    Wellywood has it’s own problem Mayor – you voted her in

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  24. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Hey get a life

    and help christchurch re build

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