The departed Auckland Asia Pacific Outgames Board has left the event hanging by a thread with its requirement the organisation set up to deliver it be disbanded and any new contract with GLISA Asia-Pacific be signed by a new organisation. A month after resigning, the members of the Board have issued a statement to GayNZ.com stating they did so because potential sponsors were not keen on the games being run in conjunction with the Auckland Pride Festival, and they recommended the dates be changed. The Board passed this recommendation on to GLISA Asia-Pacific, who contracted the event out to Auckland Outgames 2016 Inc., but GLISA did not want to change the dates. This, and a lack of any confirmed sponsorship, made the Board feel it would be "extremely difficult to deliver a quality event in February 2016” and sparked the mass resignations. The Board is now requiring the incorporated society set up to run the games to be formally wound up. Its members say they "wish to make clear that should others wish to deliver the event in February 2016 they will need to establish a new body and enter into a Partnership and License agreement with GLISA AP". Ashley Barratt says they are speaking with GLISA daily to try and save the event A small group of the organisation's Executive Committee remains committed to running a scaled down Outgames festival of sport, human rights and culture in February so long as sufficient community support can be committed to the project. “It’s pretty unequivocal that the Board has expressed wishes that the incorporated society that we’ve developed to deliver the games is actually wound up... so there’s probably very little to do except to acknowledge that and start to put that in place,” says Ashley Barratt, who is among those remaining members of the Executive Committee working to see if mounting the games is still possible. He says they have been looking at forming a new organisation over the past couple of weeks. “And I guess all I can say is that’s contingent on actually agreeing with GLISA that that’s a possibility. I guess it’s too early to tell whether that is a possibility, realistically or not.” When asked this morning whether the Board instructions to wind up the organisation give everybody an out to say the event simply can’t go ahead, as there is no time for setting things up all over again, Barratt says it's a question he just doesn’t have the answer to right now. “But it's certainly something that we’d need to consider and have dialogue with GLISA about. Yes, clearly the contract is with Auckland Outgames 2016 Inc, and that’s the contracted party. So we have to try and work through with GLISA around that.” Barratt says they have been in daily contact with GLISA for at least the past two weeks. “Certainly they are very aware of our situation as an Executive Committee and have been privy to what we’ve been trying to do.” Damien Strogen, who led the bid for the Outgames, became Auckland Outgames 2016 Inc.'s Executive Director, and was the liaison person between the board and the Executive team, will be back in New Zealand next week after time overseas. Barratt says he was the inspiration and catalyst behind Auckland getting the event, and they are hoping to engage him in the next steps.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Friday, 14th August 2015 - 11:07am
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