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14 Apr 2016
After months of painstaking planning, the financial success or otherwise of the Mangonui Waterfront Festival was in the hands of the weather gods. Fortunately they smiled on us again this year, and the rain radar which we had been watching obsessively for the last week, panned out exactly as anticipated.
More than 4,500 people flooded into Waterfront Drive that day, and from the feedback received so far, most had a fantastic day.
The key purpose of the event is to celebrate produce, arts and entertainment of the Far North. But it was also about our local economy receiving a welcome lift – even if it was for just one afternoon.
With approximately 4,000 adults in attendance, if we say they spent on average $50 each, then the money spent on Waterfront Drive would be $200,000. This is significantly higher than the average autumnal Saturday afternoon spend and a vital boost to help Far North businesses get through the leaner winter months.
I understand that most of the local accommodation providers were all busy and some were full, which is great to see the event attracting people from outside the area. This year we conducted a survey at the entry points, which showed that approximately 25% of those attending came from outside the Far North District. One of the key purposes of the event is to attract visitors to our beautiful part of the country, and have them spend some of their hard earned dollars with us.
Of course an event like this does not just happen overnight and costs in the region of $35,000 to put on. The main costs included event management, security, facilities, advertising and paying the bands and other entertainers. Despite the previous successes of past Festivals, this year has proved more difficult to attract grants and sponsors. We do not run the event to make a profit, however we do need the event to cover its costs. With the reduction in sponsorship and grants this year, the event will have a deficit in the region of $5,000, this is despite the increase in people and stallholders attending. Although we can cover this deficit in the short term, it does mean we have to attract more sponsors next year to ensure we can continue celebrating the very best of the Far North.
We are grateful to all our sponsors and particularly those that donated cash to help cover the operating costs. These include Pub Charity, Far North Reap, PKF Francis Aickin, Palmer Macauley, Mangonui Waterfront Apartments, GAS Coopers Beach, Reia Taipa Beach Resort, Richard & Mary Catterall, , Professionals Far North, Top Enz Fishing Charters, Coastal Ceremonies, Wayne Brown, Peter & Carol Krogh, and Doubtless Bay Villas.
Also a big thanks to the guys at Far North ITM, Mangonui Lions, FNDC, Fulton Hogan, Wiltons Garage, Mangonui Hotel, Petricevich Buses, Archibalds Motors, St Johns, CBEC, Mangonui Rural Delivery & NZ Post, NZME – The Hits, Butler Point Whaling Museum, Taipa Sailing Club, Mangonui School, Taipa Area School and the Doubtless Bay Information Centre Volunteers. Without this community support, the event simply couldn’t happen.
“Mangonui Waterfront Festival brings people out in their thousands to celebrate the Last of the Summer Wine”
The festival shows what we can achieve when we come together as a community and a group of businesses. The committee worked hundreds of hours planning and organising the event particularly in the last few stressful weeks. I personally would like to thank my fellow committee members Rick Palmer, Jeff Parker, Clara Lugnet, Lynette Wilson, Jan Ferguson, Danny Simms and Eddie Aickin. I would also like to thank our event organiser, Jodi Betts of Somersault Event Management, without whom the Festival simply would not happen.
We are looking at building the event further and would welcome everyone’s feedback as to how we can take the Festival forward. If you have any suggestions of how the Festival can be improved, would like to be involved, please contact one of the committee members mentioned above, myself or Jodi.
Finally a huge thank you to everyone who got involved with the Festival. Whether that was by attending, performing, working, sponsoring, volunteering or generally just enjoying yourselves. It helped to make a very special afternoon in Mangonui and one that we as a firm are proud to have been involved in.
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