Should SCIRT be sponsoring a Buskers Festival?

January 9th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

I was astonished when in Wanaka to see a newspaper insert promoting the 2013 Buskers Festival in Christchurch, that it was sponsored by SCIRT, who got naming rights to it.

SCIRT is the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team. I got briefed on their work earlier this year, and they seem to be doing a fine job. They are a fairly novel PPP involving five private firms (Downers, Fletchers, City Care, Fulton Hogan and McConnell Dowell) and three government entities (CCC, NZTA and CERA).

I think it is quite inappropriate for SCIRT to be sponsoring a festival and getting naming rights for it. It’s job is to repair the roads, the sewers, the infrastructure etc. Not to promote their brand.

If the five private companies involved in SCIRT want to sponsor a festival, then that is great and they should do so. But I don’t see it as as appropriate that SCIRt itself is sponsoring, let alone having the festival naming rights.

I’m not against either local or central govt making a contribution either, but that should be through MED or the CCC if they believe there is an economic payoff to such a contribution.

As I said, I think SCIRT seem to be doing a good job. but they should focus 100% on infrastructure and not be worrying about sponsorship, brand, or economic development. Stick to your knitting.