Auckland Council's event body has been asked to restore funding for the much-loved Farmers Santa Parade.

Last November, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) stopped funding for the parade from this year.

Today, the council's community development and safety committee unanimously supported a resolution requesting Ateed to rethink the decision.

The committee also requested council staff to develop options to provide funding for the annual event, which has been running for 85 years and attracts thousands of families.


They have asked Ateed and council officers to report back in four weeks.

Ateed general manager destination Steve Armitage said the council body will review the funding decision as requested and report back to the committee next month.

Committee chairwoman Cathy Casey said if Ateed says no again, there will be a range of council funding options provided at next month's meeting.

Last November, an Ateed spokesman said the parade no longer fitted a new 2018-2025 major events strategy - designed to grow tourism and the local economy in a sustainable way.

"This is based on the fact that [the parade] is not a big driver of domestic tourism into Auckland,'' the spokesman said.

He said the parade was unlike other events - such as the Diwali and Chinese Lantern Festivals - which have activities that run over a week.

After Ateed pulled funding, Gull New Zealand and retail giant The Warehouse confirmed they will be pitching in to keep the Farmers Santa Parade around.

Santa Parade chairman Michael Barnett.
Santa Parade chairman Michael Barnett.

Auckland Children's Christmas Parade Trust chairman Michael Barnett yesterday expressed frustration at Ateed's decision, but said most ratepayers would continue to support the event that has been running for 85 years.

Ateed had provided $45,000 to the parade, Barnett said.

"They say it is a community event and yet they will continue to fund other community events like Auckland Diwali Festival ($93,000 last year), Auckland Lantern Festival ($250,000 last year) and Pasifika ($350,000 last year)," Barnett said.

Ateed also helped deliver the community events, above, which imposed extra costs, he said.

Barnett said the trust has generous support from Farmers as the naming sponsor and other Auckland businesses, but the support from Ateed on behalf of council, had helped with the quality of the events and balance the budget.