Community representatives fail to support Helensville Christmas Parade
The 2 organisations elected to represent community interests – Rodney Local Board and North West Country Business Improvement District (BID) – both collecting rates and levies from the community, are refusing to underwrite advance costs for organising the Helensville Christmas Parade.
The traffic management plan has to be completed by September to obtain the event permit. The cost of that is around$1,000. If the event cannot proceed when the time comes, due to Covid, that is a ‘lost’ cost. Without that cost being covered, I am not willing to organise the event.
The Helensville parade is, perhaps uniquely, not under the umbrella of any organisation. It was originally, and until 2013, a function of Helensville Business Association, an Incorporated Society. However when the BID was formed that legal entity was taken to form the legal basis for the BID. Those who took roles of responsibility in the changed entity wanted nothing to do with the parade event.
Helensville lost its autonomy.
Kumeu parade is the responsibility of Kumeu Rotary.
The parade would have ceased. However I offered to keep it going. This has meant I have operated without the usual benefits of having the backing of a community organisation – no income/membership funding available and no public liability insurance cover as held by such organisations. For 5 years I personally have had to take out the public liability insurance, at a cost of hundreds of dollars, to meet event permit requirements and minimise risks. The parade has been organised at huge cost to me in terms of time and expense. I have done much of the printing, using $1,000 worth of coloured ink one year alone.
Whilst I have readily done so, I am not willing to stand organisational cost risks due to Covid. Additionally, to date no one has shown any interest in helping with the organisation. I would need someone to place posters and entry forms in business windows throughout Helensville, Kaukapakapa, Parakai and Waimauku early November. Along side that, someone to distribute and collect colouring competition forms in schools. Advancing years and now having a 7 day a week business offering an information service to the town and our many visitors, at my time and expense, mean I simply cannot continue to carry out all the ‘leg work’ of organising the event.
Sadly, unless these needs are covered, I will not be continuing with organising a parade this year or ever again.
I do wish to acknowledge those who have faithfully carried out essential tasks year after year to make the event happen.
I was really excited when I heard that a major sponsor had come forward to fund the Christmas Parade this year. So much so that I immediately put a notice on the back page of last month’s Helensville Community News announcing that “Santa will be back”. Sadly, it seems, I jumped the gun a little, as explained in the letter on th left. As I understand it the sponsorship is still in place, however ONLY if the parade takes place. If for whatever reason the parade does not take place, Covid, severe weather etc. then the costs incurred up to that point will not be reimbursed to the Organiser, who is currently Holly Southernwood. The chances of the Parade being cancelled are not great, however it is possible, so it would be wonderful if one or more businesses, families or individuals would come forward and agree to cover the up front costs if cancellation did in fact occur. Any money contributed would be held in trust and returned if the Parade did take place.
Who out there thinks, like me, that this annual event is worthy of support? Editor
Anyone prepared to contribute should contact me at email@example.com