[Grant Ruddenklau, far right in image, Chairperson of the Upper Clutha A&P Society Board]
Sitting here under Wanaka’s infamous inversion layer, I feel it is time to update you the members on recent happenings.
I guess you could say it’s all history now, but what a fantastic event we managed to pull off prior to our world being turned upside down, I personally thought the 2020 event ranked very highly on the ‘Best show” rankings! To have hosted both the World Hereford congress and the New Zealand Merino conference was outstanding and testament to our brand we have created with the calibre of these events wanting to partner up with us. The weather again played its part, the trade exhibitors and competitors were on par with previous years and the public rolled on in, just a shade under 40,000 which is a great result. With the support of our usual sponsors and having some new ones on board, it was spectacular to again see the diversity of our show, from the Jack Russell race, to the fantastic line up of cattle, sheep and horses on show, our dog trial competitors and our 450 trade exhibitors, this event has proven to have something for everyone!!
A big “hats off” to the tiresome work of our management team, Jane and the crew, a huge amount of planning goes into running the show and the Board would again like to thank them all for their dedicated commitment, also the numerous volunteers, you know who you are, without you we would lose that “local” feel which is part of what makes our event unique, well done to all those involved.
I guess you could say we dodged a bullet with covid, we felt sympathy for anyone who has been affected by this terrible pandemic, we were privileged to be the last major event to take place prior to lock down and hope in some minor way we may have helped people get through the last few months, whether a trade partner with sales, a competitor with a ribbon or just a visitor with fond memories of their experience, we hope NZ is in a position for us to host the next event in 2021!
A bit of a Board report, we have been meeting regularly every second Monday of the month, still progressing policy and procedure whilst supporting management and reviewing the Societies’ direction, we are still a young Board (not the directors ages) and have much to formulate.
Building; Mike, Jan and Doug are continually frustrated with the slow progress on working towards a variation to our lease agreement with QLDC as requested at the 2019 AGM, Todd Walker lawyers have been tasked with presenting our case but progress is very slow, more on that at this year’s AGM. On our community involvement, with the rowing club moving from the wool room we have allowed the Toy library to use this facility, they are rapt to have somewhere to operate from and we are only too pleased to be able to offer them the building, we are still hosting the Coast Guard as well.
Corporate sponsorship; as you can well imagine with the economic crisis looming, we are struggling to maintain the previous levels of sponsorship, for the first time in 2021 we will run our event without a strategic sponsor. Farmlands will still be involved as a sponsor but not at Strategic partner level. Several other partners are having to refocus their commitment for the 2021 show, we have built strong relationships with these groups and hope in the future they may come back alongside and be part of our team, thank you to all our partners continuing their support and we hope our members support these groups.
HR and Personnel; continuing to review our key staff contracts, a fantastic group and a real important part of the Society, work in progress.
Policy and procedure; Mike and I are continuing to formulate our “Governance manual”, again work in progress, our aim is to have something complete for Board elections next month.
Strategic planning/ special events; we are constantly reviewing our strategic plan, still fit for purpose, Jane has some ideas for new events coming up, I will let her divulge these. As a Board we are endeavoring to host a Farm open day to the local public, this fits into our rural urban divide strategy, hopefully watch this space!
Financial; again, another financially successful event, we were owed a large sum of money by our ticket promoter which was looking seriously at risk during lockdown, with some legal help form our sponsors Todd Walker we were successful in obtaining our funds from the company, next years ticketing will come back in house! As a Society we have a healthy balance sheet which is been built up to one day upgrade our building, in the mean time we continue to fund student St John training, have our scholarships contested annually and try and support numerous non- profit organisations during the show.
Our accounts are presently being audited so again the time is rolling around for our AGM, we have penciled in the 21stSeptember for the 2020 meeting. As per our constitution we have two board members resign by rotation, this year it is Jan and Doug. Unfortunately for us they have both signaled their intentions to stand down, the loss of these two members from our Board will be sorely felt, they are both highly respected and have long associations with our event. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their selfless commitment they have both shown and we will miss them at the table, I know they will both be heavily involved in the event going forward. With that we will have two vacancies on the Board, the timeline has been set to fill those gaps, nominations will open on the 1st August, closing the 14th August, voting from the 18th August until the 1st September, successful candidates will be announced at our AGM.
Anyway, enough from me, I hope everyone is enjoying their New Zealand winter holidays, this finds you all safe and well and that we can count on you all for your support going into our 2021 event.