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Christchurch Fanzone and festival launched

A new temporary entertainment and performance events village to be set up in North Hagley Park will receive $650,000 from the government’s Major Events Development Fund, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Acting Economic Development Minister David Carter announced today.
Mr Brownlee said the government had also backed the Christchurch City Council plan to stage a Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) Fanzone and festival events in the North Hagley Park events village and a travelling Fanzone for east Christchurch.
The government’s New Zealand 2011 Office had supported the NZ2011 Festival Lotteries Fund panel to allocate an extra $491,000 for the RWC 2011 Fanzone and festival events in Christchurch.
This additional $491,000 allocation is on top of the $628,000 of lottery grants already announced for REAL New Zealand Festival events in Christchurch during RWC 2011, bringing the total funding for RWC 2011 events in Christchurch to more than $1.1 million.
The North Hagley Park events village will also support a wide range of events including the Christchurch Arts Festival, TV2 Kids Fest, the International Jazz Festival, New Zealand Cup and Show Week, and the World Buskers Festival.
“The North Hagley Park venues will be available for events before RWC 2011, during and into 2012, which is great news, because Christchurch is desperately short of corporate and entertainment venues following the 22 February earthquake,” Mr Brownlee said.
Mr Carter said events are one way of giving people a welcome focal point as Christchurch rebuilds.
“It is clear that residents and visitors are eager to take part in RWC 2011, and the events sector can make this happen, but the city needs the venues.”
“The events village is one way the government can help support the Christchurch hospitality and tourism sectors as we work together to have the central city up and running again.”
Christchurch will also benefit from REAL New Zealand Festival events which are touring nationally, including the REAL New Zealand Music Tour of rock bands.
Mr Brownlee said he was pleased the council would still be delivering a RWC 2011 Fanzone as it meant the government funding could leverage Christchurch ratepayers’ investment.
“We may no longer have any RWC 2011 games in Christchurch but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, support the All Blacks and also be great hosts for the international visitors that will join us in the Fanzone, celebrating the games and the Tournament,” Mr Brownlee said.
“I am also pleased we have managed to put together a programme for east Christchurch people with a travelling Fanzone that each weekend during the tournament will visit a new east Christchurch venue with music, entertainment and live Rugby.”
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker was delighted the city will be joining in the fun of the Tournament and said he was looking forward to the launch of Christchurch Arts Festival.
“There are a great number of events which will still be happening in Christchurch during RWC 2011 and we’re pleased the city will be a part of the excitement of the Tournament.”
Mr Brownlee thanked the Christchurch Arts Festival, which with council officers and the New Zealand 2011 Office, had completely reworked its programme to coincide with the RWC 2011 programme and will deliver highly accessible events during the six weeks of the Tournament.
The Christchurch City Council is working with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) on rebuilding greater Christchurch and its surrounds, and supporting the welfare of its residents.