Dannevirke Community Board member Tim Delaney was determined to stick to his principles and refused to back funding for a national pony club dressage event here in January.
In 2013, Mr Delaney and fellow board member Ernie Christison were adamant the community board shouldn't approve funding for the Central and Southern Hawke's Bay Showjumping Group's show in Dannevirke, with Mr Christison saying this was a "sport for rich people".
A request from the Hawke's Bay Area Pony Club for money to help cover the costs of the dressage arena decorations for the New Zealand Pony Club Dressage Championships at the showgrounds in January next year resulted in a heated debate at last week's community board meeting.
And although Mr Delaney stuck to his guns, Mr Christison had a turnaround, supporting a grant of $250, half of the $500 applied for, but not before querying how Dannevirke would benefit from the event, and about the financial well-being of the pony club.
"The problem I have is that in the last financial year this group had equity of $67,000. So how can they ask the community for money and how many kids from our area are involved?"
However, Mr Christison relented and agreed to back the funding request, while conceding the group had sustained an almost $7000 loss last year. "It's for the youth, not the parents," he said.
Tararua District councillor Carole Isaacson said she wanted the community board to support the request because the event was worthwhile.
"We should welcome visitors to our town," she said. "This is a national event, with competitors coming from around New Zealand and, from a public relations point of view, I believe we should give them the $250. We put a lot of effort into developing youth and this is part of that."
Mr Delaney stuck to his guns and said he didn't believe the community board should be funding organisations when the primary beneficiaries were members of that organisation.
"My group, the Ruahine Kennel Association, will not be applying for funding for our upcoming two-day dog show because it's for our benefit. We've 450 entries on each of the two days and that brings business to town, but hobbyists should pay for their own events. We should be welcoming the pony club people to town, but we shouldn't be paying for them."
The Dannevirke Community Board agreed to contribute $250 to the pony club event, despite Mr Delaney's opposition.
Organisers of next January's event have already booked all the motels in Dannevirke for the three-day show and NZPCA board member Wendy Lansdown has said competitors and their families will be contributing to the local economy by buying food and fuel here.