2013 AGM and Canoeist of the Year

This year the Whitewater NZ Annual General Meeting was held in Auckland on 11 May 2013, to which people came from far and wide. As people gathered into the Auckland University lecture theatre it was a time to catch up with old friends and make new ones over the mandatory coffee and home-made muffins kindly baked by our Auckland hosts AUCC.

The meeting was facilitated by Matthew Bennett (President) and Graeme Wilson (Vice-President) and attended by the other members of the Executive Committee as well as representatives and delegates from kayaking clubs across the country. Each Officer gave a small presentation on their area of responsibility, where conservation, the RMA changes and access were once again hot topics.

Canoeist of the Year” was a tough one this year with eight nominations all deserving of the title. After a lengthy process of voting and re-voting the Executive Committee and delegates finally decided that this year the award would go to not just one of the nominees but two: Bruce Webber (and family) and Ian Fox.

Bruce was also our guest speaker this year giving a humorous yet inspirational presentation on the topic of ‘Introducing Young people to the sport of kayaking’. Before the meeting ended, new Officers were nominated and voted onto the Executive Committee positions that were being vacated this year, with even some roles having more than one member voted in - that was great to see. Our thanks go to Sarah Fawcett, Jo McWilliam, Evan Freshwater and Mike Nooney for their work on the Executive, and we welcome Marnie Fornusek, James Rae, Peter Davis, Martina Naplawa and Anna Matson.

The meeting successfully finished on time and even though that was the end of official AGM business it was not the end of AGM activities. While some had to head home, other stayed and organised themselves to head down to the Wairoa River that afternoon in order to paddle and raft the season's final release the following day. What a great day Sunday turned out to be: beautiful day, great people all having fun and keeping each other safe on the water. It’s easy to see why they call it “Going to Church at Wairoa”.

Thank you to all those who attended and helped to make it a successful AGM and a great week end.