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Council confirms support for 2005 Garden Festival

14 July 2004

Christchurch City Council’s decision today to confirm its support for a new garden festival has met with an enthusiastic response from local members of the tourism industry.

Penny Clark, Christchurch-based chairman of the NZ Hotel Council said the Council’s endorsement of the festival, which will be held in the first half of October 2005, was fantastic news. “The first two weeks of October are always very soft.  It (the festival timing) is just ideal for hoteliers and will have a ripple effect on everyone in the community.  It also supports the start of the (tourist) season and builds on what we are already known for, being a garden city.”

Christchurch & Canterbury Marketing chief executive Ian Bougen said the timing of next year’s festival was ideal.  “A significant event at that time of year with a garden flavour is very much looked for by  Japanese and other markets.”

The Council will contribute $185,000 worth of funding to the event in this financial year. Sponsorship will also be sought by event organisers, the New Zealand Garden Festival Trust.

Christchurch City Councillor Ingrid Stonhill said, “the Council’s support today gives the NZ Garden Festival Trust the backing to get on with building a world-class festival that will truly secure our international reputation as a garden city.”

“This festival will provide exciting economic and marketing opportunities for many Christchurch businesses and organisations involved in all aspects of gardening,” NZ Garden Festival Trust chair, Pamela Williams said. “The financial benefit to the city of the festival has been conservatively estimated at $4 million”

The new garden festival was to be held this year but was postponed to give the Trust time to do more consultation following intense lobbying by some interested commercial and garden organisations.

Mrs Williams said, the Trust was willing to work with everyone to maximise the benefits of what would be an iconic citywide festival.

At its meeting today, the Council also agreed that its Festival and Events Subcommittee bring together the NZ Garden Festival Trust, Garden City Trust, Garden City Advisory Committee, Dunkleys and other agencies to look at ways of working together to strengthen the links between events across the four seasons of the year.

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