Methven was on show last week as more than 200 Community Board, local and national government representatives from throughout New Zealand gathered for the New Zealand Community Boards Conference.
The conference theme “Making 1 + 1 = 3” focused on finding new and creative ways to deliver improved outcomes to ratepayers and parent councils, given the constant demand on limited resources.
A range of stimulating speakers from New Zealand and Australia discussed topics ranging from positive communications and ways to engage youth in local government to sustainable housing and the role of the local government commission.
According to Mick Lester, Chair of the New Zealand Community Board Executive committee, the outstanding success of the conference was due to the combination of engaging speakers, strong participation from community board members and the support of the local community.
“The locals pulled out all stops to ensure delegates were treated to a very special experience,” Mick says. “In addition to the information and knowledge shared amongst our delegates, the local community and business sector shared in the benefits of the three day gathering.”
Delegates and their partners contributed 336 room nights across seven local hotels and resorts, airport transfers were provided by Methven Travel and local caterers and community groups were engaged to provide food and entertainment. On Friday evening, guests gathered for the conference dinner and Best Practice Awards at Methven Heritage Centre, Mt Hutt Memorial Hall in which local artist, Hannah Kidd, was a selected entrant.
This is the first time the conference, jointly hosted by The Methven Community Board and the Ashburton District Council, has been held in Methven. Mick went on to comment, “we were delighted to hold the conference in Methven to showcase the Mid Canterbury area to over 200 delegates from Kaitaia to Bluff. The combination of the support from the Ashburton District Council and the Methven Community Board, and an outstanding venue for all the conference activities, made this one of the most successful and best supported conferences we have held. The entire township opened their arms to our delegates and venue staff and local suppliers ensured they were exceptionally well looked after. We would thoroughly recommend Methven as a venue for events like this.” Mick said.
Local Councillor, Liz McMillan was grateful to the community for such a positive result exclaiming, “the conference was a fantastic success. A huge thank you goes out to all the locals who helped out. Matt and Tomoko from Black Kite, Callie and the helpers from the United Club, Sue Stewart, The Heritage Centre, Methven Travel, Hannah Kidd, Martin and Jenny, Viv, Wayne Pannett and his band Freudlin Slip, the wonderful waitresses, Lyn Markham, Deb and Trev and everyone who hosted the delegates to stay or dine with them. Also, to the Methven Community Board members who hosted the event so well. We have had such amazing feedback about our wonderful, friendly town.”