The Ministry of Environment and Planning would like to respond to claims made by the Chewstick Foundation that as a result of the unresponsiveness of the Department of Parks the annual Kitefest, planned to be held at Horseshoe Bay Beach, has had to be cancelled.

Chewstick stated in a release that having made an application to the Department of Parks in the Fall of 2012 for a permit for the event, and having not had a reply, followed-up with numerous e-mails and voice mails, all without a response. 

The Department of Parks can confirm that they do not have a record of an application for a permit from Chewstick for the Kitefest event, nor do they have a record of e-mails or telephone calls regarding a permit.  The Department can confirm two e-mails from Chewstick with regard to other events, most notably the annual summer Beachfest.

Upon hearing of Chewstick's dilemma via the media yesterday, the Department contacted Chewstick to resolve the matter.  Chewstick was unable to indicate when they had made an application, only stating that it had been sometime in the Fall. The Department finds this curious as Chewstick has obtained permits from the Department of Parks previously and is aware of the process. For example, on 5th April last year Chewstick applied for and received a permit for an event on 6th April.  Further, the Department has provided Chewstick with the contact information of a Department officer in order to ensure that permits are expedited.

During yesterday's discussion, the Department also advised Chewstick that a permit for Kitefest could be immediately approved and collected this morning, Friday, 8th March.  Chewstick indicated that it was not able to accept the permit.

The Department of Parks values the use of our National Parks for wholesome family activities and has been pleased to partner with community organizations such as Chewstick to this end.  The Department regrets the confusion that has surrounded Chewstick's efforts to host Kitefest and trusts that the arrangements we have put in place with them will ensure the smooth processing of all future applications.