Financial crisis for Gathering

Christchurch Press, 5 February 2001

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NELSON -- Gathering organiser Murray Kingi is desperately trying to save his New Year's Eve dance party after a mix-up over ticket sales which has put him in a financial crisis.

Mr Kingi says he owes about $200,000 to contractors, performers, and crew members who helped run the 72-hour Upper Takaka rave.

He blamed the crisis on a misunderstanding with the Gathering's ticketing agent, Online Reservations.

He said the misunderstanding led him to believe he had sold more tickets to the event than he actually had.

Online Reservations chief executive Teva Loos said Mr Kingi had not contacted him about his concerns.

He declined to comment further until he had spoken to Mr Kingi, except to say his company had fulfilled its obligations to the Gathering.

Mr Kingi said some of the debtors had threatened legal action which could force the Gathering, the country's largest dance party and a huge money-spinner for the Nelson region, into liquidation.

Mr Kingi said he was determined to repay his debtors and urged them to stand by him while he sorted out the problem.

"Don't panic, I'm trying my best. I haven't dropped one bit of faith in this party," he said.

Many contractors had already been paid, including one of the event's two security teams and a special-effects supplier.

Mr Kingi said none of the five Gatherings had made a profit and, if his company was sued, it would probably be forced into liquidation, leaving debtors with "a pittance" and him bankrupt. -- NZPA


Caption: Murray Kingi. Supplied by New Zealand Press Association

Christchurch Press, 5 February 2001

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