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Event faces stiff competition

Monday, August 5, 2013

Event faces stiff competition

Tauranga's iconic half ironman event, the Port of Tauranga Half, is at the crossroads because of competition from "a big hungry beast" called Auckland.

The future of the flagship event which celebrates its 25th birthday on January 4 next year came under close scrutiny by the city council before it approved a $20,000 grant.

Councillor Terry Molloy said it was critical the council continued to support the event because Auckland was "a big hungry beast".

"We must make sure this is successful."

Councillor Tony Christiansen said a lot of money was being poured into equivalent events in Auckland and Wanaka. They were eroding the sustainability of the Port of Tauranga Half.

"There is a clear message that we need to think outside the square and make sure it stays here."

Sport Bay of Plenty chief executive Wayne Werder, who presented the funding application to last week's meeting, said the event was at a crossroads and was no longer unique.

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