Kāpiti Sports awards secure funding grant

Kāpiti’s will continue to honour its sports achievers after the Sports Awards battled to receive a $10,000 grant from the Kāpiti Council.

In what was a contentious debate Councillors voted to approve the grant which will provide an event manager for the awards for 2015.

Traditionally the awards have been run by volunteers, headed by project manager Joe Franklin who spoke at the recent KCDC meeting. Mr Franklin told Councillors an event manager was critical to the ongoing success of the awards with age and ill-health taking its toll on volunteer organisers.

He said if granted the money for the event manager, the Lions would keep ownership of the awards with a board of management.He said in the absence of funding the event would likely fold after 2015.

Councillors Gavin Welsh and Murray Bell objected to providing the necessary funding.

Welsh moved that the council make no contribution to the event, seconded by Bell.

CrWelsh said this term’s council had slowly but surely been consolidating its cash reserves to make it “robust to deal with problems that are core functions”.

He was interrupted by Councillor Jackie Elliott who asked where his fiscal strength was when Councillors approved $10,000 for the Paraparaumu RSA the week before.

CrBell said events such as the awards did a lot of good things, but he was taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture.

“We have got debt, the cost here is not $10,000 to us, it’s actually $10,000 plus interest over five years if we pay that debt off.”

Bell said the Lions had enough money to run the event for 2015, so the decision could be delayed to allow the community to have a say in the council’s long term budget set next year.

Welsh’s motion failed, and the money was approved: Bell and Welsh voting against the move.

Former winners include All Black Dane Coles, Silver Fern Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, world champion speed skater Peter Michael.