Friday, September 25, 2009


In the last ten days I have been fortunate to be part of a raft of celebrations.

  • The Recognyz Youth Awards celebrated outstanding and inspirational young people for their contributions to the community along with talented young performers who had the capacity crowd rocking.

Waikato's Latino community welcomed spring at their annual Fiesta de la Primavera with sensual dance, song and drumming. I would say that there are some advantages to having being colonised by the Spanish (except, of course, for the conquistadors and the Inquisition)

Hamilton's rainbow community launched Hamilton Pride Week with an entertaining launch featuring Gloria - in fine voice - an MP and more ... the week had something for everyone from picnic, pets, knitting, movies, the traditional interactive Rocky Horror Show, lectures and movies. Who says Hamilton is boring?

At the Sustainable Business Awards the standout popular winners were Te Whangai Trust from Kaiaua - where unemployed people grow native plants - and our Enviroschools - encouraging children to think sustainably - which began in Hamilton and is now nation-wide.

Classical pianist Stephen de Pledge is arguably Hamilton's most famous musical son. He returned to his home town to give a stunning performance at the university.

The third Jambo soccer tournament saw 29 teams of young players competing. How did Hamilton manage to muster teams from the Cameroons and Madagascar?

At the stylish Korean Youth Performing Arts event trendy teenage vocalists wowed the audience along with more traditional dancing and drumming but the beautifully costumed tiny tots stole the show.

We marked Suffrage Day on 19 September with both a brunch and a dinner.

The National Student Photographic competition, organised by Hamilton's Oliver Raman, is in its fifth year. The awards evening attracts students and their families from around the country. Their fabulous photos are on display at the Performing Arts Venue, University of Waikato will go on tour nationally.

Flagstaff's Kids Klub won a national award for their walking programme, Happy Feet. Thirty cute pre-schoolers lined up with their enthusiastic teachers and parents to be acknowledged for walking at least part of their journey to the child care centre each day.

From these occasions I see at first hand the dedication and hard work of those involved in these successful events - the organisers, the participants and their families. We are the richer for what they do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Above the Parapet

It's just over a year to go before the next local body elections.

Women who may be considering standing for election in 2010, or wish to support others to do so, are invited to attend a seminar in Hamilton on Saturday 10 October which will cover what's involved, the joys and challenges of local government and strategies to be successful.

Professor Margaret Wilson will provide a historical overview of women's participation in public life. Penny Hulse began by protesting against a landfill in Swanson and is now Deputy Mayor of Waitakere City. Soraya Peke-Mason will share her experiences as Rangitikei District Council's first Maori woman councillor.

Julie Starr, Wintec Editor-in-residence, will look at case studies of how candidates may reach voters through cost effective social media.

This should be an informative, fun day with plenty of time for networking and discussion.

To enrol, email Milly Brown at or phone 858 5208.

Saturday, 10 October 2009 at St Peter's Cathedral Lounge, 10am -2.45pm.