The AM Show host Duncan Garner has lashed out at the Auckland Council's tourism and event division's decision to pull funding from the Santa Parade.
Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) has decided not to contribute for the event after this year.
The organisation's general manager of destination, Steve Armitage, told Newsroom ATEED would rather fund events gaining more popularity each year like the Pride Parade, Chinese Lantern Festival and Diwali.
He said the decision reflects Auckland Council's search for alternative revenue streams to reduce dependency on ratepayers.
But Garner argued that the event was a "rite of passage" for young Aucklanders and called ATEED a grinch for pulling funding.
"They throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at festivals, Diwali, Lantern Festival and Pasifika but the big white guy in a red suit, he's been overlooked," he said.
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"How ridiculous - some of these agencies are too tricky and too fancy for themselves, wining and dining the big guns and they forgot what's important to locals."
Garner said Auckland Mayor Phil Goff needs to bang heads together at ATEED and the organisation itself should review the decision.
Failing that, the funding decision is a chance for a corporate to step in and save Christmas.
"Let's see this as an opportunity for a corporate somewhere in Auckland to stump up with $50,000 and save this year's parade," he said.
"C'mon guys, 2018 was the year the white middle aged guy was very unpopular I know, but let's not be so mean to him and his followers when this time of the year should be about kindness and love.
"So who's going to stand up?"
Watch the full commentary above.
The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.