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Saturday 08 April 2017

Ak Outgames: Inflexibility and lack of communication

Posted in: Out Games News, Our Communities
By Daily News staff - 18th August 2015

Lack of communication from the board of Auckland Outgames 2016 Inc. and their apparent determination not to run a scaled down community-based version of the Outgames in February as originally planned are contributory reasons given by the event's regional governing body, GLISA AP, in its explanation of the breakdown in the relationship between the two organisations.

At the end of last month it became apparent that the entire board of the Auckland organisation had resigned two weeks earlier. Sponsorship and other support funding for the February Outgames had not materialised and the Board later explained its belief that the Outgames "could not be successfully delivered within the original time-frame stipulated by GLISA AP" which resulted in the resignations of all board members.

The board said
delaying the sports, human rights and cultural festival was "a clausal option of the license agreement that the Auckland Outgames 2016 Inc. and GLISA AP entered into."

It also said running the Outgames at the same time as the Auckland Pride Festival, so the two events could capitalise on each others schedule of activities, was seen as a negative by potential sponsors.

Regional governing body GLISA AP (the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association Incorporated - Asia Pacific) has n
ow said that "the board of the Auckland Outgames 2016 Inc. made a request in early July to defer the Auckland Outgames to a later date in November 2016. That request was considered by GLISA AP and not approved in principle due to a number of conflicting events in the region at the proposed time and the closeness to the World Outgames in Miami in May 2017.

"Instead, it was GLISA AP's preference to continue to work with Auckland Outgames 2016 Inc. to deliver a more modest and more manageable event to the original time-frame."

GLISA says the two organisations agreed and arranged for GLISA to send a taskforce of experienced members to Auckland on 18 and 19 July to work through and discuss the logistics of the preferred scenario.

But it says its "best efforts to make contact with and meet the Auckland Board at that time were ignored and have been since."

A make-or-break meeting of GLISA's regional members will be held tonight to "
brief members on recent developments, explain the options as they currently stand and make a decision on whether or not GLISA AP will formally continue to support an event being held in Auckland in February" according to spokesperson Graham Lovelock.

Meanwhile, GLISA has publicly acknowledged the withdrawal of the Auckland organisation from running the event following a public statement from the board members, who technically have to see out a three month resignation period, that it is formally winding itself up.

board members are Phylesha Brown-Acton, Martin King, Vinnie Sykes, Prue Tamatekapua and Kerry Underhill. Brown-Acton and Sykes are also on the board of Auckland Pride.

"GLISA AP understands that an enthusiastic group of committed and active community members is now working to develop a more community-driven lgbti sporting event model through the network of sporting groups in the region," says Lovelock.

"GLISA AP is now considering how this situation might develop to ensure that some form of lgbti sports, human rights and cultural event happens at the time-frame planned and provides an event for people who have already made travel and accommodation arrangements for Auckland in February in 2016."

Given presumed links between Outgames 2016 and the Auckland Pride Festival 2016, Daily News approached Auckland Pride a week ago asking for a statement or interview on the Outgames situation but nothing has been forthcoming.

We also sent, last Thursday evening, a list of questions arising from the Outgames Board members' statement regarding winding up Outgames 2016 Inc. to the Board member who issued that statement. We have yet to receive a response. Daily News staff - 18th August 2015

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