Ocean Partners Aims to Raise Post Earthquake Morale in the City

Sky TV and Ocean Partners have partnerd in a process that will aim to bring more events to Christchurch - increasing local morale at a critical time in the rebuild process.

MARTA STEEMAN      The Press

Sons and Daughters of Christchurch - Ocean Partners

MAKING IT HAPPEN: Ocean Partners co-founder Tim Howe, left, business consultant Bryan Pearson, Ocean Partners co-founder Sarah Ott, and Sky TV chief executive John Fellett are key players in a new effort to bring more sport and music acts to Christchurch.

Entertainment heavyweight Sky Television is getting behind Christchurch efforts to bring more music and sporting events to lift morale in the city.

They are teaming up with a charitable trust, Sons and Daughters of Christchurch, and a local merchant bank Ocean Partners to try to make this happen.

Their concern is that Christchurch is being bypassed.

Ocean Partners last night hosted a few of the city's wealthy to interest them in raising $500,000 for the effort with the intention of tapping into public sector funders for a similar amount.

Sky TV chief executive John Fellet said Sky's role would be to promote, market and broadcast the music or sporting events live. It would help draw tourists to the city and benefit the local economy.

While there might be some revenue in pay per view and sponsorship, economically it could be marginal but it was part of its efforts for Christchurch. It had already committed $1 million to Christchurch and that was being used to repair sports fields.

The group sees Sky TV's broadcasting and promotional muscle as a drawcard for the companies who bring the international music acts and sport to New Zealand.

Business consultant Bryan Pearson, a former chief executive of Vbase, the city council company that ran the city's big entertainment venues, said he was contributing to the effort through his knowledge and contacts.

Pearson said the city needed a range of national and international sport and music acts.

Ocean Partners director Tim Howe is setting up the fund for investors interested in helping to fund it. Ocean Partners was not charging management fees.

Howe said these events would lift moral and were a needed part of the city's social recovery.