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2005 Garden Festival will not go ahead

8 April 2005

Christchurch City Council has been told that Flora New Zealand, the Christchurch Garden Festival planned for October this year, will not go ahead.

“The Festival Trust has informed us that the Festival will not be possible because the event has not attracted the significant amounts of corporate sponsorship required to run it,” Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore said.

Last week, the Council voted not to underwrite the Festival against a cashflow shortfall expected by the organisers. “The general consensus from Councillors was that it would be better to take longer planning a truly successful event that would provide a stronger foundation for the future,” Mr Moore said

“We are confident that we won’t lose the investment that we have already made in working towards a major garden festival for the city.  Planning is a big part of any festival and we still have the value of the scoping and planning that has been done for this one,” he said.

“The case for developing an iconic garden festival remains valid to promote our garden city image and is in fact stronger than ever. I am personally committed to filling the gap that has been left and am interested in getting a number of people together to move things forward again.”

Mr Moore said he wanted to thank members of the New Zealand Garden Festival Trust who had worked incredibly hard to get the event off the ground.  “We all still believe in the wonderful potential of a significant garden festival for the city but this year is not the right time.”

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