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Council must not rain on Hero parade

The Auckland City Council must show that its decisions to fund public events are based on sound, transparent criteria and not the whim of councillors at the time, says National MP Belinda Vernon.

Belinda Vernon was commenting in the wake of the Council’s decision to fund $60,000 of ratepayers money for this year’s Santa Parade because the Council says it is an icon.

“I’d like to see similarly generous funding for next year’s Hero Parade. It’s also an Auckland icon, brings thousands of people into the city, and has economic benefits that flow on to businesses and the community at large.

“Mayor Christine Fletcher has long been a supporter who recognises the vibrancy, life, and visitors Hero brings to the city.

“The absence of Hero from the streets of Ponsonby this year left a big gap in Auckland’s social, cultural and entertainment calendar. While the loss of its economic benefits this year were camouflaged by the buzz from the America’s Cup, next year Auckland will be ready to celebrate its diversity and to dance in the streets again.

“Hero is on the agenda for 2001. I hope the Council will ensure its criteria for funding is sound and transparent so that Hero is considered on the strength of its contribution to the economic, social and cultural atmosphere of Auckland.

“When Hero makes its application this year for funding I challenge the Council to look at the economic and cultural benefits to the city, when they determine Hero’s grant,” says Ms Vernon.


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