Hu­runui springs back to life

Christchurch Mail - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - EMMA DANGER­FIELD

Mo­men­tum is build­ing around the Hu­runui district for a co­or­di­nated ap­proach to mar­ket­ing and run­ning events, kicked off with a launch on Thurs­day evening of Spring Time Hu­runui.

Mayor Win­ton Dal­ley has been a strong pro­po­nent of such a project for some time, and has at­tempted to en­cour­age busi­nesses to take up the idea but with lit­tle suc­cess un­til now.

The dif­fer­ence could be the ‘del­e­ga­tion’ of four women who ap­proached him about six months ago with their vi­sion to cel­e­brate spring­time, all of them busi­ness own­ers and proud sup­port­ers of what Hu­runui has to of­fer.

The group found a sym­pa­thetic ear in Dal­ley, who wanted them in fact to broaden their scope to go fur­ther than a spring cel­e­bra­tion — he wanted to see a pro­mo­tion of the district in win­ter, sum­mer and au­tumn too, and he be­lieved the re­gion had enough go­ing on to achieve this.

Dal­ley said it was vi­tal to sup­port the smaller com­mu­nity events in or­der to keep the local com­mu­nity healthy and happy. There was no point pro­mot­ing the district to out­side visi­tors if the com­mu­nity it­self was not thriv­ing, he said.

It was im­por­tant to sup­port such ven­tures, like flower shows, the smaller A&P shows and other ru­ral events, be­cause it was these which shaped the district and gave ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties a sense of pride. A good ex­am­ple was the Scargill Spring Show which was made home­less by Novem­ber’s earth­quake but with help found a new venue at the Ti­papa Wool­shed in time for this year’s show, he said.

Some of the events had been go­ing for more than 100 years and pro­vided a sense of Hu­runui’s his­tory, in par­tic­u­lar the A&P shows, Dal­ley said.

Meg Macfar­lane is one of the group who set up the ini­tial meet­ing with Dal­ley, and she was thrilled with the sup­port shown so far for the project. She pre­sented a flyer which had been de­vel­oped fea­tur­ing a map de­tail­ing local busi­nesses, com­mu­nity events and land­marks.

She hoped the col­lab­o­ra­tion would pro­mote a shar­ing of re­sources and ex­per­tise. Dal­ley echoed the sen­ti­ment that this was an op­por­tu­nity for busi­nesses and events to work smarter and pro­mote the district to­gether, with a part­ing mes­sage of ‘‘join in or get left in the dust’’.

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