Ellerslie flower show canned

The Ellerslie International Flower Show has been canned for next year as organisers work out how to make it financially viable.

At an extraordinary council meeting last month, Christchurch City councillors resolved that a sub-committee be formed to negotiate with Flower Show Management Limited, the management company for Ellerslie International Flower Show.

It has since been agreed that the management contract between the council and Flower Show Management Limited Events will not be renewed, effective from this Thursday.

The council will pay management fees owed to May 31, this year, but no other compensation or early termination fees are payable.

Councillor Tim Scandrett said while Ellerslie brings many benefits to Christchurch, the council is not currently in a position financially to sustain the show.

"Ellerslie is a fantastic event. It cements Christchurch's image as the Garden City, boosts local morale and puts our city on the tourism map," he said.

"However, the council has a responsibility to rate-payers to be prudent with spending, so we need to work through how a gardening show can be made financially viable.

"While there will be no show next year, the council will work with the gardening and events communities to work out what form a show could take in 2016."

Christchurch City Council bought the rights to the popular garden showcase from Auckland in 2007 for around $3 million.

It has generated millions for the Canterbury economy since then, but visitors have criticised its decline, with a lack of entries.

It has also been running at a loss - a $325,000 loss last year alone, with 10,000 fewer visitors than expected.

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