Gigatown fades in Oamaru

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Oamaru needs to be realistic about the use of the district’s resources in the Gigatown competition, Gigatown Oamaru ambassador Gary Kircher says.

He said he may recommend the local Gigatown committee not receive the $20,000 allocated to their efforts in the annual plan if Oamaru did not look likely to place in the top five, he said.

“I’m not willing to spend any more unless we know we’re going to get good results,” Mr Kircher said.

His statements come after Oamaru fell to ninth place after leading at the outset of the competition.

Mr Kircher said, while he was not writing off the town in the competition, it was hard for the town to compete against well-resourced areas such as Wanaka.

Many places had people dedicated to the competition and, while it was worthwhile taking part to increase local social media engagement, he could not justify using the district’s resources for a full-time Gigatown Oamaru employee.

Mr Kircher said the local efforts focused on connecting people through social media, and he was happy with the level of engagement there.

“At the end of the day it’s the thing we want to get out of this.”

There could only be one winner of the competition, he said.

The local volunteers would continue their efforts but spending district money on the competition was not worth it, he said.

In regards to what had happened with the town’s placing in the competition, locals had fallen behind through the various Gigatown competitions.

“We’ve definitely missed the boat . . . we should of done better.”

Efforts with the day-to-day aspects of the competition had improved though, he said.

GIGATOWN STANDINGS (as at Sunday afternoon)

1st Wanaka 1381173

2nd Nelson 1205644

3rd Dunedin 1061135

4th Queenstown 948195

5th Timaru 928131

6th Masterton 540113

7th Porirua 521930

8th Blenheim 420811

9th Oamaru 412620

10th Whakatane 351627

By DAVID DE LOREAN