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2015 National AGm/Conference

The 2015 National AGM/Conference was held on May 15 and 16 at Sequoia 88, Redwood, Christchurch and ably hosted by the Canterbury Branch.


It started on Friday night with a welcome by Barry Hay (Christchurch President) and then the impromptu speech competition. Everyone picked an upside down topic card and spoke for 2 ½ - 3 ½ minutes. It was judged by two Hornby Tecorians – Margaret Park and Lesley Rae (content/presentation) and also a speech therapist Dean Sutherland (fluency). Monica Bennett (Canterbury) was first, then Barry Hay (also Canterbury) and Ngaire Renton (Otago/Southland) third but everyone spoke well and it was a difficult judging decision. Supper and catching up followed.


Saturday morning was the National AGM which finished at lunch time. The National Executive remains as Marty van der Kley as president, Monica Bennett as vice-president, James Fox as secretary, Ngaire Renton as treasurer and now joined by Nina Whitfield-Clark as publicity officer.


The next National AGM/Conference in 2016 is to be held in Dunedin, late May.


A resolution was passed “to stay as National Body for one more year and make a definite decision at the 2016 National AGM/Conference”; this was due to the slow growth at branch level and difficulties with funding. The local branches would remain but as independent bodies.


Best new member was Matt Marshall (Canterbury), Best Group was Otago/Southland and the President’s Cup was awarded to Barry Hay (Canterbury).


On Saturday afternoon, Ellen Nijhof (speech therapist) held a workshop based on the Naturalness Method. We first listened to Mark Onslow speaking at naturalness 9, and then copied as he was speaking. Then breaking into small groups we increased our naturalness level from 7 then 5 and finally 3 (almost “normal” sounding). Coming back together we split into teams for questions from “Taboo” and a debate.


Dinner was held at Sequoia 88, attended by a small number but social group.


Thank you again to Canterbury branch and hopefully see you in Dunedin 2016.


Ngaire Renton