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TDC backs Kai Fest for even bigger 2018 event
June 27th, 2017
[by David Armstrong]
Tasman District Council will support next year's Motueka Kai Fest with $20,000 funding to help the fledgling event reach greater heights and build financial sustainability.
The Special Grant was approved at the Council's Community Grants Subcommittee meeting late last week, with a unanimous vote giving the new event team a confidence boost as they begin work on Kai Fest 2018.
The money comes from TDC's Special Grants Fund, set up "to encourage and support new significant events or projects within the Tasman District that provide both residents and visitors access to a range of opportunities and experiences".
The first Motueka Kai Fest on April 9th (see our earlier story) was under the oversight of Vision Motueka, but since then a new charitable trust, Kai Fest Trust, has been set up to continue the event into the future.
Its goal is to make it a financially sustainable signature event that remains primarily a free community celebration of the food and people of the Motueka area.
Chair of the new Kai Fest Trust Petra Stephenson (pictured) says the grant will be invaluable in setting up the event organisation so that it will become a broader, sustainable community project.
"Although we obtained great funding mainly from Rata Foundation, TDC and Lion Foundation for the first running of the Kai Fest, we still didn't have enough time or money to prepare for all the aspects that would have made it as good as we had planned," she says.
"We received great praise and encouragement from pretty well everyone who attended this year's event, but we know of several aspects that didn't work anywhere near as well as intended.
"This money from TDC, plus more we intend to raise from other sources, will give us the opportunity to set up sound processes and good contacts to make it an ongoing special event for Motueka."
She says the aspects that will be further developed by a contracted co-ordinator, working with the volunteer committee, include getting the larger food industry suppliers involved, working more closely with schools, attracting more food stall holders, and working with many other community organisations to contribute through activities and responsibilities such as traffic control and venue preparation.
A key factor that the Kai Fest Trust want to maintain is keeping it a free event for all the community, particularly families.
"The most consistent feedback we got was that families could take part without having to fork out money to enter and for activities," Petra says.
"Our biggest challenge - and one which the Council spoke about when they debated our application - was for it to become financially sustainable.
"That's difficult when it's a free event, but we will be working with other community groups to encourage them to take responsibility for aspects of it, so we don't have to pay a co-ordinator to do it all in the weeks leading up to the event.
"We also hope that the larger commercial food businesses in the area can help with some funding and low-key sponsorship, in exchange for them showcasing their products to the thousands of people who will attend."
But it must not become a giant sponsored event for the benefit of the industries, she says. "Basically, the Motueka Kai Fest must remain Motueka celebrating Motueka."
According to Council's rules, the Special Grant is available in the years where Council achieves a General Rate surplus as a result of experiencing extra growth across the District than planned. In such cases, a Special Grants Fund of up to $50,000 per annum may be made available.
If there is no cash surplus, then there will be no additional funding available for that year. Council decides by 31 October each year whether there are funds available from the previous financial year, and how much, if anything, will be available for the Special Grants Fund.
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