Everyone loves a parade. North Shore has splashed o' />

It's been a year of parties for North Shore council - and it's come at a cost, reports Edward Rooney
Everyone loves a parade. North Shore has splashed out with more than $70,000 worth of functions and ceremonies since July last year -overspending the budget by more than $15,000.
There is still five months to go before the end of the financial year. And there are at least two more civic functions to come.
One resident who's aghast at the seemingly endless rounds of tea and biscuits is David Martin.
The Takapuna resident has become increasingly concerned at the attitude of Mayor Andrew Williams.
Mr Martin is an accredited business mentor who attended a function with the mayor late last year at which mentors were praised.
However, Mr Martin was surprised to discover how much money is going into city knees-ups.
The 59-year-old emailed Mr Williams with his concerns last week, saying he supported reviewing expenditure and cutting costs but did not like some of the personal politics the mayor was engaging in.
Mr Martin was admonished in a response from the mayor.
``This has been a huge exercise to reduce wast age of spending across the bureaucracy, get more accountability into the systems, prioritise the needs vs the nice-to-haves, and basically run it as you would run your own business,' Mr Williams wrote.
Mr Martin says: ``The lips are moving but the feet aren't lining up with the mouth.'
Figures obtained by The Aucklander show the council's Civic Functions and Ceremonies budget for the 2008/09 financial year is $56,441.
The actual spend in that budget for the period July 1, 2008 to January 31, 2009 is $72,255.
City secretary Peter McArthur says the major ity of the $72,255 spent is attributable to five events:
Civic awards presentation ceremony
Motorcade and civic reception for North Shore Olympians
Rosedale outfall tunnelling machine unveiling
Navy Charter parade
Industry training graduation
Mr McArthur says: ``The only civic function scheduled before June 30, 2009 of which I am aware at this time is in relation to the Davis Cup Tie and is scheduled for March 5, 2009.'
However, The Aucklander has since learned there will be more pressure on the budget for an event to coincide with the grand opening of the new Chelsea Estate Heritage Park on March 8.
It's not the first time the civic functions' budget has been blown. In the year 2006-07, $70,823 was spent, well over the budget of $41,112.
Andrew Williams told The Aucklander there was no way to predict a motorcade and reception would be needed after the Beijing Olympics, where Tom Ashley won a gold medal in windsurfing.
``It was the first gold medal for some consider able time by a North Shore athlete,' says Mr Williams.
Likewise, Mr Williams says the Navy Charter parade was unanticipated but necessary after it was discovered that such a parade hadn't been held for more than a decade.
He says the civic functions budget often changes and, in fact, the 2007-08 year was underspent.
``We're still about average over the two years,' he says. Mr Williams says most functions are very basic affairs with ``a cup of tea and a couple of sandwiches' and he has personally made savings by cutting back on the use of a mayoral driver.
``We're very cautious,' he says. ``Most of our civic functions don't include much alcohol.'
Edward Rooney was a guest presenter at the North Shore Civic Awards and enjoyed a glass of wine at the reception.