New Zealand's largest Pasifika festival facing budget cut

An Auckland Council grant behind several big events including Polyfest is facing the chop in the latest proposed budget.

The proposal suggests stopping regional contestable grants and removing some of the community, social, innovation and economic development programmes, which would save a total of 28 million NZ dollars.

RNZ Pacific reports on Thursday, councillors agreed on the budget items that will go out for public consultation early next year - with just one councillor voting against, Josephine Bartley.

She questioned why assets like golf courses were not affected.

The "core services" were part of the fabric of the city, she said.

"Arts culture events, our people, our diversity, that's what sets Auckland apart from anywhere else in the world, is that we so many cultures living in this little place ... we should always celebrate what makes us great and I know that sounds corny, but I really do believe that."

Manukau Ward councillor Alf Filipaina said Aucklanders needed to get involved with the consultation, because small communities could be badly hit and he did not want cuts to art and education programmes.

Other events, such as the Big Gay Out and the Highland Games will also be affected if the grant is stopped.


Photo: RNZ / Mabel Muller