Auckland Council's tourism arm has revealed that $225,000 of ratepayer money was forked out on this year's New Zealand Fashion Week.
The admission comes after a report in yesterday's Herald about criticism of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development's earlier refusal to say how much public money was spent. It said the contract with the organisers was confidential.
Ateed chief executive Brett O'Riley said "given the significant level of public interest" in how much was spent sponsoring NZFW, both parties agreed it was appropriate to release the figure.
"Details of the sponsorship had been kept confidential to allow NZFW to undertake commercial negotiations with sponsors and partners," he said.
Mr O'Riley said based on last year's figures, it was estimated that approximately 30,000 people were expected to attend this year's event.
A research company commissioned by Ateed predicted that NZFW would bring $694,935 of new money into the Auckland economy and generate 6080 domestic and international visitor nights during the event period.
Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer, who was previously frustrated at the secrecy of Ateed's investment, said yesterday that the money was "probably a fair and reasonable contribution from the council".
Fashion Week's managing director Dame Pieter Stewart said the money was less than 10 per cent of the operating budget required to run the event. In total there are 36 sponsors, including six "elite sponsors", and 40 affiliates involved.
"Ateed is only one of these sponsors. It's a major sponsor, but not a major funder, given the overall cost of putting on the event."
Student Jack Hill last night won the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Award for 2012.
Investments by Ateed, Auckland Council's tourism body, in events include:
Pasifika Festival: $350,000
Lantern Festival: $250,000
adidas Marathon: $125,000