21 Dec 2022

Auckland mayor says Pasifika, Diwali will avoid budget axe

5:05 pm on 21 December 2022
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown at the council's governing body meeting.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown Photo: Auckland Council

Big local cultural celebrations such as Pasifika, Diwali and the Lantern Festival will not face funding cuts, but other local events are not so certain, Auckland mayor Wayne Brown says.

Brown is making the reassurance after his budget proposal included stopping regional contestable grants, which is behind several big events including Polyfest.

He is sending a letter to Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, requiring it to continue to support Pasifika, Diwali and the Auckland Lantern Festival.

"Events like these have helped make Auckland the vibrant region that it is," he said in a statement.

"There is no doubt that each of these festivals will continue to be supported by Auckland Council Group in the next financial year, despite the current economic storm."

The statement said Brown would not yet comment on funding for other specific local events which include events such as Big Gay Out and the Highland Games.

Auckland Council Group currently faces a budget deficit of $295 million for the 2023-24 financial year. Brown has set a savings target of $60m and has proposed a variety of cuts and rate rises.

Brown has also proposed selling off the council's 18 percent stake in Auckland Airport.

Brown said the council will listen to Aucklanders through the public consultation on the draft annual budget.

"These proposed savings require some tough decisions, and we will listen to what Aucklanders say matter most to them through public consultation on the draft annual budget in March 2023."

The final budget will be approved in June.

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