Inner Wheel New Zealand was very honoured to welcome IIW President Christine Kirby to their biennial conference held at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Auckland NZ from 2nd May to 5th May.
President Christine arrived in NZ with her husband Robert, on a direct flight from Turkey on 2nd May. After allowing time for a short rest and catch up on her Inner Wheel correspondence President Christine and Robert were taken to a “Friendship Dinner” at the home of a local Inner Wheel member. The meal was catered for by local Inner Wheel Club of Howick members and was attended by IWNZ President Darlene Westrupp, IWNZ Vice President Carol Haskett, many other Inner Wheel members and their partners. As part of the IWNZ Conference, other Friendship Dinners were held in various locations on the same evening being attended by conference attendees.
On the morning of day 2 – Friday 3rd May - President Christine attended an informal morning tea at the home of Past IWNZ President and Past IIW Board Director, Hazel Hunter along with the current and past IWNZ Presidents including current IIW Board Director Joanne Gaudin.
The conference opening ceremony began at 3pm on Friday 3rd May. The opening ceremony commenced with a welcome from a Kaumatua (Maori Elder) and wiata (welcome songs) from local Maori school children. This was followed by a parade of flags and banners and short addresses from IIW President Christine, IWNZ President Darlene and IW Australia President June Muller. The conference attendees were inspired by key note speaker Sue Lyndsay who reminded them that it is a significant time for women globally and particularly those in leadership, however, we must not be complacent or take anything for granted. We must come together supporting each other as we push for progress and pave the way for those to follow.
Following a cocktails and finger food the evening concluded with a showcase of local talent.
Day 3 of conference consisted of a full morning of business session including a stimulating address by IIW President Christine. The afternoon session comprised various speakers, the first hour being the launch of the IWNZ Strategic Plan for the year ahead and leading into the future. This was very well received by all and they appreciated that the session was interactive which inspired them all to get involved and keep up the momentum of the project once they returned to their clubs. Other speakers were “How to Calm the Public Speaking Nerves” and various short talks on membership and projects. The day concluded with a gala dinner attended by IIW President Christine and Robert, all conference attendees and their partners.
Day 4 was the final day of the conference. This opened with a “service of faith” and a tribute to all Inner Wheel members who had passed away since the last IWNZ conference three years previously. After morning tea there was a celebration of the IWNZ service project supporting “Look Good Feel Better” a NZ Cancer Society initiative. The official changeover of officers and closing ceremony followed.
IIW President Christine was then transported to the airport to board her flight to visit clubs in Israel.
Members of Inner Wheel New Zealand were very appreciative that IIW President Christine was able to visit them and were inspired by her presence. They wished her well in her travels and visits to their sisters around the world.
Darlene Westrupp - IWNZ President/National Representative