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Auckland Harbour Festival Is Declared A Success

7th February 2006

Organisers Look To The Future As First Auckland Harbour Festival Is Declared A Massive Success

Nearly one week on from the inaugural Auckland Harbour Festival, the event has officially been declared a success by the police, the council, local businesses and, most importantly of all, the general public who arrived in their tens of thousands to celebrate Auckland's 166th anniversary this weekend.

This positive response leaves event organisers in the happy position of being able to review the successes of this year's event while looking forward to the possibility of an Auckland Harbour Festival 2007. Final estimations on attendance for this year put the total figure at approximately 200,000, making it one of the largest outdoor events in New Zealand. Organisers and authorities alike were impressed at the 'party atmosphere' of the festival.

Event Director, Dave Stewart, said: "It's been amazing to see how the people of Auckland have really taken this event to their hearts. I think we've proved together, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Aucklanders really know how to party. It was a great family day out. Now as with all good parties, it's important for the organisers to look back with a clear head and assess the event properly. After which we're ready to start to consider the potential for an even bigger party next year. So watch this space!"

Event Host, Auckland City, was also very happy with the way the event went. Auckland City Mayor, Dick Hubbard, said: "The harbour is one of our greatest assets and I'm thrilled to support an event that celebrates our harbours, our waterfronts and our sailors. Auckland is known as the City of Sails and the Harbour Festival has been a perfect opportunity for both locals and tourists to celebrate the special relationship that Aucklanders have with the sea."

Over the weekend, not a single arrest or disturbance was reported, leading the police to also praise the event and its organisers, Senior Sergeant Willie Taylor stated that: "It was a fantastic event, extremely well managed, particularly considering the amount of people attending and I was very impressed with the organisation."

Most of those who attended cited their personal highlights as being The Ferris Wheel, which travelled with its fairground owner all the way from the UK; The Exponents farewell gig, with special guests D4 and Michael Chunn of Split Enz adding to what was a unique performance; and the sight of more yachts, Tall Ships and Boats on the water than has been seen for years.

Other big hits with the public drawing massive crowds were the Street theatre and busker performers, many of whom stayed on in New Zealand specially for the Harbour Festival having appeared in the Christchurch-based World Buskers Festival.

Auckland Harbour Festival Organisers are currently working with Auckland City and other parties to assess the broader success measures of this year's event, such as the economic impact and the potential for the event's growth.


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