Ohakune Mardi Gras (OMG) street party has been cancelled for 2017, the Ohakune Events Charitable Trust (OECT) that owns the event has announced.
The event had been planned for 24 June 2017.
“It is disappointing as it is one of New Zealand’s most iconic and established events and we have no doubt our fans will also be disappointed by this decision,” said OECT chairman James Foubister.
But he added that it isn’t the end of OMG forever.
“OECT intends to bring back an event in the future,” said James Foubister.
“The look and feel will be very much dependant on feedback from our stakeholders, both locally and nationally and as a community, we are excited by the opportunities that this presents for OMG.”
He said partnerships will be the key to delivering a successful and sustainable event and the volunteer committee is looking forward to building relationships in the future, which supports the community’s vision.
“In order for OMG to remain viable the Trust is obligated to ensure that the event is not only competitive and meets expectations but, more importantly, is cost-effective for both the consumer and the Trust.”
“We have been monitoring iconic national events over the years such as Wellington World Sevens Leg, Auckland Nines, Big Day Out, Auckland City Limits, and McLaren Falls Festival to understand what is driving the decline in sales for these events and to learn from these.”
The Trust reports that loss for last year’s OMG event was $77,000.
“The 2011 Rugby World Cup had a negative effect on our visiting numbers to the region and in light of the up-and-coming Lions Tour, we felt that the date of the event conflicted with the first test match and this posed a great risk for both the reputation of the event and the sustainability of the Trust.”
An additional event funded by OECT for the last two years has been The Giant Ruapehu Express, which has alone been hugely successful for the Trust and the local community.
Since its inception, this event is now ranked in the top five for participation for mountain biking events.
OECT also owns and supports the running of the iconic Ohakune Carrot Carnival.
This community event, which last year was attended by many visitors as well as locals, is one that the Trust wants to ensure remains well into the future.
“Successful events like The Giant Ruapehu Express enable us to fulfil this objective,” said James Foubister.
Ohakune Events Charitable Trust welcomes any feedback for future events for the Ruapehu region.
A public meeting date will be advised in due course to gather and discuss these ideas.
“We wish to acknowledge, that in lieu of OMG, our Junction business community has put their hands up to run a season opening party,” says the Trust.
“We encourage all people to support this initiative.”