Comms costs increase

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Queenstown’s publicly-funded organisations spent more than $1.2 million on communications and public relations in the 2016/17 year.

The district council spent $444,328, Southern District Health Board (SDHB) $462,406, and Otago Regional Council (ORC) $330,000.

And two of those organisations, Queenstown’s council and SDHB, surpassed those figures in the latest financial year. ORC did not provide figures by deadline.

SDHB’s comms spend almost doubled to $607,302, over the whole 2017/18 financial year, while Queenstown’s council had spent $664,024 by May 2018 (when it provided figures). The financial year runs to June 30.

QLDC comms boss Naell Crosby-Roe says the increase is due to a combination of more council projects, more media enquiries and an engaged community.

That’s likely to continue to rise with the implementation of the Ten Year Plan.

The council’s also added two new positions to the comms team and reviewed all team member salaries.

The SDHB says its increase is solely down to the roll-out of the bowel cancer screening programme.

The ORC didn’t respond to a request for comment by deadline.

In the 2015/16 year, Queenstown’s council spent $439,192, the SDHB spent $424,540, and the ORC spent $500,000.

– DAISY HUDSON