Event ‘not dead in the water’

Guests sing Rule Britannia at the invitation ball at the Scottish Hall at last year’s Victorian...
Guests sing Rule Britannia at the invitation ball at the Scottish Hall at last year’s Victorian heritage celebrations in Oamaru. Photo: Carol Edwards
It looks increasingly likely the running of Oamaru’s Victorian heritage celebrations will fall to Tourism Waitaki, with possible input from the Waitaki District Council.

Last week, the organising committee, part of the Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations Incorporated Society, folded after no nominations were received to fill spaces made vacant through rotation and retirement.

That left one active member remaining.Last Friday, former committee chairwoman Marise Martin, who resigned after last year’s celebrations but chaired last Monday’s annual  meeting of the society, said the lack of nominations, while unfortunate, did not come as a surprise for a "variety of reasons".

Mrs Martin said despite the fate of the committee and public speculation, the celebrations were "not dead in the water".

This week, the board of the Waitaki District Council-controlled organisation Tourism Waitaki met to discuss the celebrations and its potential role in organising them this year.

Tourism Waitaki general manager Margaret Munro said the meeting was positive, but the organisation still needed to discuss the issue further with the council.

It was likely that would happen next week.

"It’s a work in progress," she said.

"We want to have a discussion on not just that but other events throughout the region, not just in Oamaru. Obviously, the heritage celebrations is a big one because there is potential for it to be an international drawcard. But, we need to discuss how that would work going forward."

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher has indicated the council would be willing to support the organisation of the event, which it contributed  $14,000 to last year.

daniel.birchfield@odt.co.nz 

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