The next New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin will
proceed despite the organising trust confirming it is
struggling to meet budget expectations in the run-up to the
Councillors at this week's full council meeting voted to
continue with the event after considering a progress report
from masters games co-ordinator Vicki Kestila.
Her report said the Dunedin (NZ) Masters Games Trust was
battling to meet its budget forecasts, having so far raised
$191,000 from grants and sponsorship, 72.2% of its $264,500
As a result, the trust had approved a ''very conservative''
budget for next year's games, with a series of savings
including using leftover medals from previous games, the
An increase in registration fees had also been approved by
the trust, meaning early birds and superannuitants would pay
$65, while a standard entry fee would cost $95, it said.
Registrations were expected to raise another $338,300, but
the fees were considered an ''at risk'' portion of the budget
as increasing fees would probably affect registration
numbers, the report said.
The trust therefore expected about 5500 participants to take
part next year, about 700 fewer than in 2012, and so far 3789
had signed up, it said.
The update came after the council earlier this year decided
to underwrite the New Zealand Masters Games for any future
loss, in return for a deal securing the event's future in the
city for two decades.
The arrangement meant Dunedin's trust, which is part-funded
by the council, would make a one-off $12,500 payment in
return for a one-third shareholding in the national body.
The trust also agreed to cover one-third of any future loss,
but only up to a maximum of $10,000 in any one year and with
an exit clause allowing the deal to be cancelled at one
In return, Dunedin's existing franchise agreement - due to
expire in 2016 - would be extended until 2036, meaning the
city would host another 10 biennial games.
However, the trust was required to report to the council
before each games on whether it had reached 85% of budgeted
grants and sponsorship revenue.
If it had been unsuccessful, the trust was expected to revise
its budget, request a council underwrite of the loss, or
cancel the games.
The report to this week's meeting outlined ways the budget
had been revised, and said the trust was still seeking
additional grants and sponsorship.
The report predicted the trust would still break even or even
secure a small surplus, and recommended councillors agree to
continue with the games.
Cr John Bezett, the trust's chairman, told Monday's meeting
part of the difficulty stemmed from a decline in money
available from gaming machine trusts, which had increased
competition for the funds.
Despite that, he remained confident the event was ''on
track'' to deliver a successful games and break even, ''or
maybe even, dare I say it, make a small profit''.
Councillors voted to note the report and proceed with the