Thriller's funding 'in kind'

The organiser of the 2014 Thriller in the Chiller charity boxing event has clarified the funding commitment from the Queenstown Lakes District Council after some information was released last week.

Last Wednesday the council released a media statement naming the events which had been allocated ''grants'' in the final round of the Events Strategy funding for this financial year.

It said the charity boxing event, on the Winter Festival calendar, but run separately, would receive a grant of $21,945, which upset some residents who took to social media to voice their concerns.

However, Simon Green told the Queenstown Times yesterday the event had ''never'' received actual money from the council, nor would it.

''It's just unfortunate that council released the information the way they did [without] qualifying it. What they failed to qualify is there is no cash for Thriller, there never has been and we'd never apply for it.''

The support from the council was ''in kind'', relating to the use of the Queenstown Events Centre for training and the event itself and ''some infrastructure''.

The $21,945 figure represented the full commercial rate for venue hire and was the same contribution made previously for the event, now in its fifth year.

Mr Green said in past years the contribution had been made as part of the overall support for Winter Festival - which received a grant of $117,738 from the Events Strategy, also including in-kind support along with a cash component - but this year it had been separated out.

QLDC senior communications adviser Michele Poole confirmed there was no ''monetary payment'' to the Thriller.

''It [the support] is the value of services and support that the council provides, that would otherwise have to have been paid for by the event organiser.

''It includes the cost of the venue and equipment, plus any consents and permits that have to be obtained from the council.''

Ms Poole said the event had previously been allocated sponsorship by Lakes Leisure, which was disestablished by the QLDC last year.

Forty would-be boxers began their training yesterday morning, however, Mr Green said it was ''unfortunate'' to start this year's event on a sour note.

''That sort of thing doesn't just hurt me; it has the potential to hurt my business and my family. If people cared to make a phone call ... they'd get a pretty quick idea of how much work goes into it ... there is no big money grab for anybody.''

Thriller had over the past four years raised close to $100,000 for charities by means of auctions being run during the event. This year's charity was the Branches Charitable Trust.

• The QLDC allocated money to eight major events in the final funding round for this financial year, announced last week.

Along with the Queenstown Winter Festival ($117,738) and Thriller in the Chiller ($21,945), the council also granted $20,000 to The Mule assault course race.

The council made five grants in anticipation of the 2014-15 financial year, due to the timing of the events: Aspiring Conversations ($15,000); Merino Muster/Worldloppet ($17,840); NZ Mountain Film Festival ($10,680); Parklife Invitational ($6360); 2015 Festival of Colour ($27,000).

The majority of the recipients received in-kind support instead of, or as well as, a cash component.

The Events Strategy enables the council to help, support and grow events in the district. Applications of up to $30,000 are considered by the Events Funding Panel, and those for larger amounts determined by the full council.

Criteria include the number of visitors the event will attract, the media profile and the size and significance of the event.

• Applications for the 2014-15 year close on April 30.