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Uncertainty over funding

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

Destination Wairarapa is cutting down costs amid an estimated funding shortfall of more than $200,000.

Trust House, which last year gave $235,000 to the organisation, has had next year’s donation put on hold by the Department of Internal Affairs.

Trust House chief executive Allan Pollard said the donation to Destination Wairarapa was being reviewed by the DIA under “due process” and was unable to make a comment until he heard back from the DIA’s legal team regarding a “decision”.

In the meantime, Destination Wairarapa chairman Robin Dunlop is adamant the regional tourism organisation will continue to “keep going”.

“We’ll do everything we can to deliver with whatever money we get,” he said.

Other major funders include the three district councils but Trust House remains the biggest, with its donations totalling almost a third of the organisation’s income for the last financial year.

“We’re just looking at what savings we can make,” Mr Dunlop said.

“We don’t know whether or when we’re going to get any money, so we’re just going to stay prudent.”

He said the organisation had about $130,000 in reserves, “in place for just such an emergency”.

“So we’re in pretty good shape in that respect,” Mr Dunlop said.

He said the board of trustees had decided to continue their roles on a voluntary basis as a way of cutting costs.

“We’ve got a fantastic organisation and were the best regional tourism organisation in the country last year.

“I think we do a pretty good job and it’s very important for Wairarapa that we keep going.”

The Trust House donation to Destination Wairarapa is on hold until such time as the DIA send through an official response to their review.


  1. I believe dw,s function is unclear, who makes decisions and general transparency. Three councils with quite different views and requirements on tourism make this org vulnerable to dia scrutiny as they should

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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