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End of a sorry saga

Labour
2000 web siteLabour tourism spokesperson Damien O'Connor said the cancellation of the Millennium concert planned for Bastion Point was the end of a sorry saga which could have lasting damage to New Zealand's tourism industry.

Damien O'Connor said it is becoming clear that the large amount of taxpayer funds spent on Millennium projects has not been managed in the best interests of all New Zealanders.

"There should be a balance in the Millennium projects between small-scale community occasions and large scale events which could put New Zealand on the international stage," Damien O'Connor said.

"Instead, large scale events are falling apart, with the potential to leave New Zealand's overall celebration looking like a tatty tea party.

"With the appointment of a Minister in charge of Millennium events, the Government indicated that it was prepared to facilitate Millennium celebrations which would provide long-term benefits to New Zealand.

"But Murray McCully's performance has simply not come up to scratch. While he has been indulging in internal scraps with officials, Millennium celebrations have been turning to custard.

"The Government does have a responsibility for ensuring large scale events are properly supported because in the end it is New Zealand's image which is put at risk.

"It is ironic that the collapse of this concert comes on the same day as the appointment to the New Zealand Tourism Board of an event management specialist as that has been a skill and focus which has been sadly lacking to date," Damien O'Connor said.

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