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Flood of Support for Taste of Auckland 2014

Flood of Support for Taste of Auckland 2014

Taste of Auckland organiser Rob Eliott of Lemongrass Productions says that the company has received a flood of positive support since it was announced the festival may need to move from the Victoria Park venue.

On Tuesday evening the Waitemata Board voted to restrict Victoria Park to events of no more than five days tenancy, and in doing so, have excluded Taste. Last year the festival attracted a host of the city’s leading restaurants and over 23,000 visitors to the area. Taste of Auckland is currently the largest festival of it’s kind in New Zealand and part of the international series of Taste Festivals taking place in 10 locations from London to Dubai, Cape Town to Melbourne. It would now take the Mayors Office to negotiate a compromise for the event to return to the park.

“In passing this decision the Local Board not only dislodges this much loved festival from the area, but they also turned down our offer of $50,000 over five years to upgrade the park to an automated irrigation system which would have benefited all park users and helped mitigate event impacts,” says Eliott.
“The Chair of the Waitemata Board acknowledged the irrigation upgrade was something they were likely to do within two years. Ratepayers will now need to cover that $50,000 contribution.

“It is a shame that of all the Waitemata Board members, only Greg Moyle and Rob Thomas were able to see the benefits to the wider community an event like Taste represents,” says Eliott.

In recent developments, yesterday the CEO of Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development, Brett O’Riley reassured Lemongrass Productions of its support for Taste of Auckland, recognising it as an important major event for Auckland under the ATEED portfolio and suggesting alternative venue options.

In addition, a flood of support has been received, from long time supporter of Taste, Heart of the City CEO Alex Swney, as well as from sponsors, exhibitors and many previous festival visitors, who have commented on the Facebook page.

“We have had offers from other local boards in Auckland and from venue operators around the country. It has been reassuring to be reminded of the very solid backing that Taste has built up and we are now focused on working through some exciting venue options for the 2014 event,” says Eliott.

With Taste of Sydney starting today and Taste of Perth recently confirmed, the Taste network continues grow stronger and Taste of Auckland is better placed than ever to retain its standing as a world-class event for the city.

The dates of Taste of Auckland 2014 remain as Thursday November 13 to Sunday November 16 and Lemongrass Productions will announce another venue update once arrangements with ATEED and other stakeholders have concluded.

Ends

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