27 Jul 2011

Rowing losses blamed on poor financial oversight

10:13 pm on 27 July 2011

Poor financial monitoring and low ticket sales are being blamed for a publicly-funded international rowing event losing millions of dollars.

Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) on Wednesday released its report on the 2010 World Rowing Championships, which lost $2.2 million.

SPARC commissioned an independent review of the Lake Karapiro event after Rowing New Zealand - which had expected to make half a million dollars - received a conditional government loan of $1.3 million in February.

A Rowing New Zealand company received $1.5 million in government funding for the event and $500,000 from a Ministry of Economic Development fund.

SPARC chief executive Peter Miskimmin says the Karapiro 2010 Board lived beyond its means, with inadequate financial management and too much reliance on late ticket sales.

He says the financial monitoring and reporting to bosses required for large events was lacking.

"There needs to be some rigorous and specific event-related financial reporting tools, to ensure that these things can be highlighted earlier and managed as a result."

But Mr Miskimmin says otherwise the regatta was well run. He says preparations for next year's London Olympics have not been disrupted.