Praise for duo with renewed approach

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 26/02/2013

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Feilding Promotion has been applauded by the Manawatu District Council for its renewed attitude towards the organisation's future, but past funding feuds are still a hot topic in council meetings.

The organisation delivered its six-month report at a council meeting in Feilding last week, outlining how it keeps the community connected and where it sees its role in the district.

Feilding Promotion chairman Michael Ford and manager Helen Worboys gave a half-hour slideshow presentation, describing the organisation "as the ears and eyes" of Feilding, helping to make things happen.

The duo were congratulated by councillors for their "refreshing" approach and for rethinking the organisation's role in Feilding and the wider Manawatu.

"Since the period of time since we last saw you, you seem to have done some soul-searching," Mayor Margaret Kouvelis said.

"I'm particularly grateful to you for the way you have obviously rethought your rationale, your purpose and you have redefined the way you see [things]."

Councillor John Salmon echoed those statements, saying that he was impressed at the organisation's resilience in tough economic times.

However, the meeting was not free of the feuds that have caused rifts between the two organisations as Feilding Promotion referred to past funding requests, which had been repeatedly rejected.

Mr Ford said the success of the visit by Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, showed the council and Feilding Promotion could work well together. But the occasion had come with the cost of cancelling other events such as the annual fireworks spectacular at Manfeild Park and Feilding's annual Rural Day.

"It was a great example of how the council and Feilding Promotion can work so well together for the benefit of our community . . . [but] it did mean that 230 hours of work on other important projects did not get done . . . we can't do everything with only two staff."

Mrs Worboys said "stumbling blocks" remained.

She told the council these included limited resources, a contract requiring "deliverables", with penalty clauses, and losing volunteers.

Feilding Promotion funding

$165,239 – Operating grant

$21,132 – Building rental costs for the office and information centre

$73,668 – CBD security contract

$75,848 – Information centre funding (via Destination Manawatu)

$335,887 – Annual funding total received from Manawatu District Council 

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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