Auckland Council funding Santa Parade 2019 after ATEED withdraws

Auckland Council will fund the city's iconic Santa Parade once more after some Grinch-like behaviour from its event agency.

On February 20, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) announced it would withdraw its funding for the annual festive event.

The parade receives funding from businesses like Farmers, but ATEED's support on behalf of the Council has made up a significant part of it.

The withdrawal left the much-loved parade with a potential funding shortfall of $45,000.

ATEED's decision was strongly criticised by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Councillor Cathy Casey, and the Community Development and Safety Committee passed a unanimous resolution to ask it to reconsider.

Michael Barnett, Chairman of the Auckland Children's Christmas Parade Trust, said he was frustrated that ATEED had decided to discontinue funding the "national and iconic event".

The agency didn't budge, but it has transferred the parade funds to another department so the 2019 event will still receive Council support.

On Wednesday ATEED confirmed it would be transferring $45,000 to the Council's Arts, Community and Events department to fund the 2019 parade.

"ATEED's initial call was the wrong one," Mayor Goff said. "I'm pleased that the right decision has now been made so that our kids can continue to enjoy the excitement of seeing Santa in the city."

Councillor Casey was similarly positive about the funding shift.

"I am delighted that ATEED has reconsidered their funding position and acknowledges there is a public good component to events like the Farmers Santa Parade," she said.

"It has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders for the last 80 years and I am pleased that its future has been secured."

Auckland Cahmber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett spoke to The AM Show.

Watch the video.