Warbirds returns surplus of $200,000

C130 Hercules takes off during Warbirds over Wanaka. Photo by ODT.
C130 Hercules takes off during Warbirds over Wanaka. Photo by ODT.
The Warbirds over Wanaka International Airshow at Easter produced a $200,000 surplus.

The previous show in 2010 delivered a deficit of $143,000.

Announcing the result at yesterday's annual meeting of the Warbirds Community Trust, chairman Murray Cleverley put the improvement down to tighter management, changes in the way pilots and plane owners were involved in the show and the fact that no overseas aircraft attended.

The income from the show was $2.2 million and expenditure $2 million.

Crowd numbers over the three days of the 2012 show had been maintained at 50,000, despite difficult economic times and falling tourist numbers, Mr Cleverley said.

The trust was in a sound financial position although he would have preferred a surplus of $300,000 or more so debt could be retired, he said.

The trust would continue to market the show to a broader range of people, rather than to just "white middle-aged men", and would attempt to make it "inclusive rather than exclusive".

Mr Cleverley said in the seven years the show had been run by the trust, 150,000 people had been entertained and the show had generated $75 million of economic benefit to Central Otago.

At the end of the meeting, Mr Cleverley handed over the chairmanship of the trust to Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie. Mr Christie, of Dunedin, has been on the trust board for 18 months.

Ross McRobie has joined the board in place of John Wilson, who has stepped down.

Although patron Sir Tim Wallis did not attend the meeting, he was expected afterwards and Mr Cleverley said he was still "scheming and planning" to improve the show.

"He just doesn't stop."

mark.price@odt.co.nz