10 Sep 2008

$180,000 grant approved

4:38 pm on 10 September 2008

The Auckland City Council is giving $180,000 to the New Zealand Opera and the Auckland Philharmonia to keep them afloat.

Councillors at a comittee meeting on Wednesday voted unanimously to save both organisations, which faced closure.

Councillors at an arts, culture and recreation committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to give each organisation $90,000 to help bridge a funding gap.

Both organisations faced closure because of delays in the passage in Parliament of an Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Bill, which will provide funding for several arts and service groups.

Auckland Mayor John Banks made a special appearance at the committee to urge the councillors to support the two organisations.

Mr Banks said the funding is money well spent and said it is important the two organisations are kept running.

He says he is disappointed it has been left to Auckland City Council to bridge the funding gap.

The New Zealand Opera will also receive $125,000 from Creative New Zealand, funding which was conditional on the council's approval.