Rae yanks Americarna tie

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 03/03/2014

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John Rae is backing away from Americarna because of a lack of funding.

Yesterday the Taranaki businessman said this year's festival had been his last.

Funding issues surrounding the much-loved event had left him in a position where he either stepped away from Americarna and passed it onto a charitable trust, or watched it flounder without enough funds.

Because Americarna had been run as a business model Mr Rae had continuously struggled to get enough funding to hold the event.

Many thought the festival may have been lining his own pocket, but this was far from the truth, he said.

"Financially, despite what people think, it's not viable for me to even consider running another one. Under a business structure, with me driving the ship, it's not working," he said.

"I don't even know if we broke even this year yet."

The event will be passed onto a charitable trust which Mr Rae will have no involvement with.

The five trustees were yet to be signed off, but Mr Rae said he was confident those who had been approached to be on the trust had the same passion for Taranaki and for cars as he did.

Mr Rae said unless the trust asked him to contribute to the event he would not be involved.

If asked to come on board he said he would act as an adviser.

"This event has never been about me; it's about Americarna and the district and I want Americarna to be able to reach its potential," he said.

"To do that we need more funding."

Mr Rae said he had applied to multiple community funders to help with the costings for Saturday's Americarnival in New Plymouth, but each application had been turned down.

"We had twice the number of things planned for outside Puke Ariki, but we just couldn't do it all," he said.

Mr Rae hoped the charitable trust would now be able to access funding from the TSB Community Trust.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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