Through the years...

History - 2014

Written on April 29, 2015

The past year has proven to be another very busy and highly successful one for our organisation. Our AGM and Conference in Napier was a great success and attendance numbers met our expectations. Once again those who attended took the opportunity to participate in the informative seminars and forums presented by some of the best presenters available and also soaked up the networking opportunities. Our thanks must go to our hosts Napier Operatic Society and especially to Sonya Aifai the organising committee chair person for the organisation and support they gave to Kate our Administrator in putting the whole weekend together. It was great to have the conference opened by Mayor Bill Dalton, and the keynote address given by Tessa-May Brown, both stalwarts of Napier Operatic, and both suffer as I do from "the disease".

We are most grateful for the on-going support we receive from our corporate members at conference time not only by supplying equipment but also the manpower to transport, install and operate this equipment at no cost to MTNZ. I would like to thank David Bosworth, The Light Site and Glen Ruske, BOUNCE NZ for their on-going sponsorship in this area at conference time. We also receive sponsorship towards meals, drinks, awards and the provision of presenters/speakers for the many forums and seminars that are now an integral part of our annual meeting.

Our special thanks go to John Herber Limited and NZ Fire Shield Limited, our major sponsors, who continue to generously sponsor your organisation. This support received from Graeme, Diane, Deane, Mark and Amanda enables MTNZ to operate under a lot less financial pressure and allows us to undertake projects that otherwise could not possibly be considered.

A huge part of 2014 was taken up by the Strategic Plan and Governance Roadshows, 14 in all, from one end of the country to the other, and my special thanks go to Vice-President Terry O'Connor for all the planning he undertook in this regard. Thanks too, to Aaron Tindell, who assisted Terry along the way with our Zone Representatives and Kate who worked behind the scenes with grant funding applications and administration. The result of all their hard work will be presented to you for ratification at the AGM in March. I am proud of this "living document", and I thank you all for your input.


The Youth Initiatives we have implemented have met with a huge approval and an amazing response. Sadly we say farewell to Daniel Pepperell from Tauranga Musical Theatre who has been our "Next Gen" representative on the Executive for the past two years. We will miss you Dan, and thank you for your input during your term, and I'm confident that the Executive will see more of you in times to come. In the meantime we welcome Gwen Lyon of Hamilton to our ranks for the next two years and look forward to working with her. At this time may I comment what outstanding applications and CVs we received from all our applicants for this position, Musical Theatre is truly alive and well in this country. We are hoping that more member societies will take the national body lead and look at having a youth representative on their boards/committee.

Weekend Workshops - Christchurch

In August we ran a very successful workshop weekend in Christchurch. After the success of the three directing musicals schools and the feedback received- the MTNZ Executive agreed to answer the call for some further workshops and training. Saturday morning at NASDA in Christchurch, we had Rhonda Daverne taking 42 people on a directing musicals for the first time director.

Sunday we had 20 people learning from Richard Marrett with Musical Directing 101; Annie Pearce took 20 people on the production management journey with Lego and M&M's and Kathryn Osborne presented Stage Management 101 to another 20 which used a practical example to work through the five stages of putting on a performance from a Stage Manager point of view.

My thanks to our wonderful tutors - Rhonda Daverne Richard Marrett Kathryn Osborne and Annie Pearce. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, expertise, craft and the love of theatre with our course attendees. Special thanks to Team NASDA, for your sponsorship of the venue and help with setting up rooms and all the admin that goes on before the actual event and to Kate and Ross for all their work behind the scenes.

Our sponsors for the weekend - BOUNCE NZ - Glen Ruske and Karen Ruske - for their generous financial support of these courses, this has enabled us to keep registration costs to an acceptable level. Sadly, a similar course to be run in Auckland earlier in the year had to be cancelled due to lack of support. Thanks also to Glen and Karen for instigating the Sound 101 courses that they have initiated throughout the country, the first of which was in Nelson late in 2014

The Executive met twice during the year in New Plymouth and Napier. My thanks to both societies and their respective Boards for the hospitality shown to us during our visits. During our meeting in New Plymouth, the Executive decided that Kate's role as Administrator had to come to an end. This part time role was not adequate to cover all the tasks of MTNZ, hence we appointed her to a full time role as General Manager, which she continues to undertake from a small office in her home. During the year we also appointed Steve Lloyd as our official Health and Safety Advisor and Nadene Edmonds as our Cultural Advisor.

We also had two successful combined meetings - the North Island held in Taupo and the South Island held in Timaru. My thanks to Centrre Stage Taupo (Inc) and South Canterbury Drama League for their hospitality. We were also lucky enough to attend the final night performance of Grease at the Theatre Royal in Timaru. My thanks to all societies who hosted the various zone meetings around New Zealand last year - your hospitality is always very much appreciated.

Towards the end of 2014, we asked all member societies to complete an on line survey, which has been managed by Dr Glenn Vallender, a long time stalwart of musical theatre. I can only thank Glenn and Steve from Solletec Solutions, for managing the survey data, it was at times a slow and painful process. I can only implore you all, that when asked in 2015 to repeat the exercise, you do so promptly, as it does help the Executive as we apply for funding to continue to provide you the members with continued support and expertise.

During the 2014 year MTNZ said farewell to three wonderful supporters of community theatre in New Zealand , and sadly all from Zone Three- Chris Green from Theatre Hawkes Bay and Napier Operatic, Lionel Priest and Jeanne Hall, both of Theatre Hawkes Bay. All three made a huge contribution at both local and national level to the theatre community and will be very much missed.

Executive - 2014

Patron Donna Philpott QSM
Life Members Tim Blennerhasset, Jim Fenton QSO, Sandra Sewell, Shona Spencer, John MacGibbon, Kevin Murphy, Len Speir, Donna Philpott QSM, Ray Spence, John Antony QSM, Markham Lee
President Lesley Carthew (Napier)
Immediate Past President Ian Reid (Napier)
Vice President Terry O’Connor (Auckland)
Executive - Zone One Pauline Vella (Auckland)
Executive - Zone Two Ngaire Holmes (Hamilton)
Executive - Zone Three Sharron Pardoe (Wellington)
Executive - Zone Four Ross Benbow (Nelson)
Executive - Zone Five Helen Horsnell (Dunedin)
Executive - NextGen Daniel Pepperell (Tauranga)
Administrator Kate Ghent (Wellington)
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