Well, good news. It didn’t happen. Regional budgets have increased across the board by 3%, as have, by and large, the budgets of the national distribution committees who fund things like community facilities, marae and outdoor safety. Not so pleased will be Creative NZ, Sports NZ and the NZ Film Commission, who all saw a 5% drop in funding. That said, they had a 1% increase in funding from the 2014 financial year, so I guess they will cope – and not nearly as dire as forecast.
And of course, this turn around in dollars is driven by what happened last Saturday, with a $40m carrot, when most of NZ dreamed of new cars, nice holiday, being mortgage free – and hopefully a wee bit of philanthropy! Many of us were lined up outside stores, some for the first time, for the most popular Lotto draw in the history of the game. Various statisticians were interviewed by the media talking through the unlikely probability of actually hitting the jackpot. But… three New Zealanders did, and we have to be in to win, right? And I am guessing that we will all do it again.
Now, I love what DIA do: I think they have some good robust decision making processes, and they support some great organisations (and they are quite possibly the only people who read this!!). It was of some concern that a $25m deficit was being projected just three months ago. The $36 that I know my household spent on lotto tickets over the past few weeks has been written off as entertainment. I hope that the $24.999m spent by other people to make up the projected funding deficit in April came out of their discretionary household income as well – and not kids lunches, rent, or electricity.
So… good news for the charitable organisations who look for support from Lotteries Grants Board. But really? Doesn’t this highlight the precarious link between the supply of grant money and gambling? Add in the Class 4 sources, and we get (in Canterbury anyway) around two thirds of our community grant money from gambling and gaming.
Remember – public submissions are open on Class 4 societies at the moment – closing 12 August. So if you want to have a say in how these are run, be sure to exercise your democratic rights. It’s a fairly wide ranging consultation, covering questions such as territorial authority role, grant making process and costs. Also covered are questions around “maximising community return” which is likely to be an interesting debate!
Would love to talk with you if you think this is just a little bit interesting.