Celebrations' organising committee elected

Central Otago town crier Paddy-Ann Pemberton (left), Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher and Cayce Wilder,...
Central Otago town crier Paddy-Ann Pemberton (left), Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher and Cayce Wilder, of Sydney, Australia, stand out from the crowd in front of the Oamaru Opera House in Thames St. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
A new 10-person organising committee has been confirmed to run Oamaru's Victorian heritage celebrations.

The committee was elected at a meeting in Oamaru on Tuesday night after several weeks of uncertainty about the future of the celebrations.

The celebrations looked to be under threat when the former committee folded in April, after no nominations were received to fill spaces made vacant through rotation and retirement at the Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations Incorporated Society's annual meeting.

The committee members are: Natalie Wilson, Faye Ormandy, Ole Wallis, Jen Howden, Diane Lee, Elizabeth Perkinson, James Glucksman, Graeme Simpson, Anisha Lee and Trevor Holdstock. A chairman is yet to be elected.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher, who attended the meeting, said the organisation of November's celebrations was in capable hands.

"It's really good to see the community was wanting to lead this. The celebrations are another important event for us and it's good to see they are taking some ownership."

Confirmation of the committee's election has clarified the roles held by council and Tourism Waitaki.

Tourism Waitaki, a council-controlled organisation, will hold an administration and marketing role.

The committee will be responsible for organising the celebrations, except for the Victorian fete, which was organised by the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust.

Mr Kircher confirmed the council would provide financial support, as it had done before.

In 2017, the council pledged $14,000. He expected the amount to be committed this year "won't be too different from that".

The aim was to grow the celebrations into a nationally recognised event, Mr Kircher said.

"We really want the heritage celebrations to obtain greater prominence around New Zealand and be an even greater iconic event for Waitaki."

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