Creekfest cancellation disappoints

BY KRIS DANDO
Last updated 10:40 05/02/2013
05-KPN-thosedays

THOSE WERE THE DAYS: Revellers rejoice at Creekfest in 2009. The festival will not go ahead next month due to a lack of funding.

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Creekfest has been cancelled due to a lack of funding, but may yet rise again this year.

In an advertisement in today's Kapi-Mana News, Porirua Healthlinks Trust chairman Steve Kenny says it is investigating whether the event could be staged in December and become a bi- annual festival run in conjunction with the Relay For Life. A scaled- down festival in March was proposed but rejected because the community expected a quality event.

Creekfest's organiser Liz Kelly says she is "gutted, really gutted" the festival will not go ahead for the first time in 10 years. As the city's deputy mayor, she sees it as an opportunity lost.

"I'm more disappointed that we have the chance to put a spotlight on Porirua East in a positive way, it is an incredible marketing tool and an iconic event.

"People come from all around the region and have a wonderful experience in Cannons Creek."

Porirua Healthlinks Trust fell about $50,000 short of the $117,000 needed to stage Creekfest, she said.

Ms Kelly reiterated her belief that "this city's leaders" - members of Mana Community Grants Foundation, who turned down Healthlinks' funding application for $27,000 - should shoulder some of the blame.

"It's impossible to expect outside funders to support it if the local foundation turn it down. It's created a ripple effect."

The organiser of the first Creekfest, Willie Taurima, greated the news with sadness.

He recalled reggae band Katchafire headlining in 2004, the stage set up in the then-empty space next to the basketball court on Bedford St.

"We wanted to bring people together for a celebration and we achieved that.

"It is disappointing what's happened, but that's the realities today, it takes money to hold these events."

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