Through the years...

History - 2008

Written on February 1, 2017

Life membership of MTNZ was awarded at conference to Ray Spence and Donna Philpott. Both Ray and Donna's contribution and commitment to musical theatre, both at national and community level in Te Awamutu and Wellington respectively, has been truly outstanding. It was also double delight for Donna, as she was nominated and agreed to be the MTNZ Patron and it is wonderful to have her continued involvement. Ray was the Zone Two representative for 25 years from 1983 and Donna was the Zone Three representative from 1987.

2008 Conference in Timaru was a credit to Drama League South Canterbury - with a total of 300 people at conference this year, it was MTNZ's biggest conference attendance on record, which was a huge logistical job for everyone involved, given the numbers were anticipated around 200 - a great turnout for conference.

In light of MTNZ's every growing closer ties to likeminded organisations, MTNZ Administrator Kate worked with DANZ (Dance Aotearoa) who sponsored the high profile dancer Brian Jones, to take a choreography seminar at conference this year.

12 merit awards were given out at the AGM. The President acknowledged in the annual report, the volunteer work that goes on behind the scenes of MTNZ conference weekends by the host society and especially the conference co-ordinator "on the ground" and also acknowledge the support of MTNZ corporate members from the Saturday night bar tab, sponsorship of awards and seminar presentations, to lighting, sound and AV equipment sponsorship and education members NASDA and Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School for their continuing support of MTNZ activities.

The standard of our seminars grows each year and the Executive look forward to an even broader range expected to be on offer in coming years. The highlight of the year was the announcement of a major three year sponsorship deal with corporate members John Herber Ltd and New Zealand Fire Shield Ltd, Kaiapoi. John Herber Ltd is known as the leading theatre drape manufacturer in New Zealand and NZ Fire Shield Ltd is a company created by John Herber Ltd to cater for the growing need for cleaning and fire treating drapes. The Canvas Technology Centre, which is also part of John Herber Ltd, is a canvas fabrication workshop based in Christchurch, which caters for the local canvas market. John Herber Ltd have been long time supporters of MTNZ, especially at annual conference for the last 27 years and formalising their support has been very much welcomed by MTNZ President John Antony, who said he was delighted at the recognition given to musical theatre in New Zealand by companies such as John Herber Ltd and NZ Fire Shield Ltd. "This highlights the contribution made by our societies around the country, to the theatre and entertainment industry nation wide", he said. Mr Graeme Philip, Managing Director of John Herber Ltd said the support that MTNZ society members have given over the many years, has assisted their growth. "This has enabled John Herber Ltd to introduce new products to better service the theatre industry", he said. Mr Deane Philip said NZ Fire Shield Ltd was established to assist all public venues meeting their legal safety requirements and is looking forward to a further strengthening of the relationship with MTNZ in this particular area. Graeme, Diane, Mark and Deane look forward to working closely with MTNZ for the betterment of musical theatre in New Zealand. MTNZ is very much looking forward to working with John Herber Ltd and NZ Fire Shield Ltd to make this a successful partnership between our organisations and sincerely thank Graeme, Diane, Deane and Mark Philip for their support at a national level for theatre in New Zealand.

The website statistics are phenomenal this year with the hit counter for 2008 registering - (this is the number of times a page, image or file was viewed or downloaded by someone) - 924,149 (up 488,216 on 2007).

The use of the library is pretty much on parr with the last few years. A number of Societies and schools are now doing compilation type shows rather than the annual full scale musicals and when they are doing the large musicals, they are doing the new shows (ie High School Musical, CATS etc.) and perusal material for these new shows are not available from the MTNZ library at this stage. Capital Assistance Fund - repayments during 2008 amounted to approximately $35,000.

CAF contributions were down just on $1,000 on last year. A loan was granted to New Plymouth Operatic Society this year. It is very pleasing to be able to report a net surplus after depreciation of $15,281 - our best result financially for a number of years. The 2008 result has of course been enhanced through the generous sponsorship support from John Herber Limited and NZ Fire Shield. Sponsorship is a reality of the world we live in today and like many of our member societies, provides a valuable level of support to enable us to continue to do what we do.

Income at $47,640 is up 3.9% with subscription income up slightly offsetting the reduced surplus from conference expenditure is down 17.56% - the Executive continue to be mindful of the need to be prudent with the financial resources available and it is pleasing therefore to note that Executive expenses have again been reduced.

President John Antony, advised in the annual report, he would not be seeking re-election in 2009. The Executive meetings in 2008 were held in Auckland in June and Wellington in October.

Many thanks to North Shore Music Theatre for hosting the Executive to the Producers and Wellington Musical Theatre - Sound of Music.

The combined South Island meeting was held in Dunedin in September. A consortium of eight of the larger MTNZ societies working together to build Miss Saigon which will open in April 2009 in Christchurch. The consortium idea is also working well with other societies - Oamaru Operatic and Showbiz Queenstown, for example, who are working together to build Les Miserables and other societies in the last few years have also embraced the consortium concept all over the country.

Executive - 2008

Patron Donna Philpott QSM
Life Members Tim Blennerhasset, Ella Duddridge, Jim Fenton QSO, Sandra Sewell, Shona Spencer, John MacGibbon, Kevin Murphy, Len Speir, Donna Philpott QSM, Ray Spence
President John Antony (North Shore)
Vice President Ian Reid (Napier)
Executive - Zone One Delwyn Smith (North Shore)
Executive - Zone Two Lawrie Johnson (Hamilton)
Executive - Zone Three Lesley Reid (Napier)
Executive - Zone Four Ross Benbow (Nelson)
Executive - Zone Five Helen Horsnell (Dunedin)
Administrator Kate Ghent
Membership: Society: 75; Corporate: 24; Education: 37; Associate: 17
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