Holiday or Promotion?

The NZ Herald has a story about what looks and smells like  junket to San Francisco for ATEED staff:

Auckland ratepayers paid some of the costs for 3 News presenter Hilary Barry to attend the America’s Cup as part of a $220,114 spend-up in San Francisco by the council’s tourism and economic arm.

A total of 11 staff from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) and seven other people were covered by the bill, including Barry, opera singer Pene Pati and several businessmen.

A spokeswoman for MediaWorks, Rachel Lorimer, said as part of Barry’s news coverage of the Cup, the network let her MC an event for Ateed. In lieu of the usual fee, Ateed helped with her travel expenses.

Ms Lorimer said the financial details of the agreement were commercially sensitive but small in comparison to the network’s total cost of covering the Cup.

She said 3 News filmed at the Auckland event where Barry was the MC, interviewing Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall for a story. 

Ateed chief executive Brett O’Riley said the three months of the Cup were an unprecedented opportunity to promote exports and investment in California, one of Ateed’s three key markets.

So how much did ATEED spend on this  “unprecedented opportunity to promote exports”?

America’s Cup costs

• Travel/accommodation: $99,520
• Events and hostings: $54,703
• Project management: $24,656
• Promotion: $15,048
• Meals and miscellaneous: $6,437
• Costs still to be billed: $19,750
• Total cost: $220,114

Right, just $15,000, which I will bet was a single swanky dinner that achieved SFA. Meanwhile ATEED pats itself on the back for pulling off a freebie holiday disguised as work.

I’ll be that Ateed chief executive Brett O’Riley and 10 other staff: Bruce Gadd, Darryn Grant, Suzanne McKinnon, Patrick McVeigh, David Caselli, Grant Jenkins, Pam Ford, Steffan Panoho, Anna Hayward, Jennifer Clamp are all sniggering about their “unprecedented opportunity to promote exports”.

It looks like the only thing exported was great wads of cash to US hotel chains and restaurants.

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