At the end of the article was an interesting sentence: “(The organiser) said previously Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve was responsible for organising the event, but this year Sport Tasman had taken up the reins, with the backing of the Reserve's Board.”
Interesting. The Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board looks to be a government appointed body which is charged with managing DOC assets, including the camp ground. There isn’t too much about this entity that I could find anyway – and they did not receive funding from Tasman District Council in the previous year, which leads me to assume that they self funded this from the camp fees many of my chums are paying at the moment.
Sport Tasman is one of the regional sports entities, largely funded from local and central government, community funding, and some 24% of self generated funds. It has a Vision “creating vibrant, connected communities through Sport and Recreation”, with a Mission of “More people, more active, more often.
With Sport Tasman organising this event this year, I am hoping that Rata, Lion, NZCT, Lotteries, MSD, Sport NZ, local ratepayer or even ASB money was not used for this. I assume that Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board paid them a management fee for this.
Now, the financials of the entity are not particularly up to date, with the 2014 being the latest on their website. The accounts themselves are summarised, so there will be no way of validating this assumption.
I guess my issue with this is how a beauty pageant helps Sport Tasman achieve its mission and vision. Sure, the winners look very fit and healthy, but as most health professionals will tell you, a fit body comes in many shapes and sizes, many of which will not attain our western standards of beauty. The pageant further south in Caroline Bay was telling as well, with articles stating that they had all of 2 entries. Perhaps the whole beach pageant thing should be archived as a curiosity of the past – or left to private enterprise – the President Elect of the US is of course is a “big fan” of these things. Perhaps in the spirit of TPPA the Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board could get Trump to organise. But I digress.
Sport Tasman may also manage the pageant in order to create a vibrant community. However, I reckon that many of the people in Kaiteriteri that day were tourists (mostly from Canterbury I suspect!). There seems little benefit in an event at this time of year either: indeed, regardless if the pageant was on or not, Kaiteriteri was, and always will be at New Year, packed to the gunnels.
Actually, when you look at the annual report of Sport Tasman, there are some fairly limited measures why NZ Inc ploughs so much into sports each year. As they will tell you if funding were cut, NZ is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Yet at no stages of this report is this measure captured – I had to google hard to find a figure that 27% of adults in the region are classified as obese. Instead, the Sport Tasman focus is on participation and management of sporting facilities (I assume on behalf of district councils), and kids sport. Quite what participation levels would be like without the existence of the entity is of course unknown: us parents do have a rather large role in enabling our kids to participate. And it’s entirely likely that obesity levels would be the same regardless: as anyone with a Fitbit can tell you, it’s more about what goes in than what’s expended at the gym.
I get nervous when I see organisations on the public dime branching out into areas that are:
- Not within their central mission
- Impinging upon for profit (or even not for loss) businesses
I also get a bit fed up with the NZ narrative as a “sporting nation” – Sport Tasman in fact has a target of raising sport participation in teen girls from 45% to between 60% - 80%. Now, measures are interesting. Does a power walk around the park a couple of times a week count? Or do I need to be a member of a club to tick that box. Hate events – but love the peace and quiet of a quiet bike ride? Not counted? Here’s a tip for free – stop the pressure of top performance and let them have fun!
As a community we need to ensure that those entities charged with delivering things for us stay on track, and reflect what we value. And, quite honestly, I don’t see a lot of value in a beauty pageant.
Would love to talk with you if you think this is vaguely interesting.