Now that the dust has settled and certain trophies have been returned to NZPI, it is probably appropriate to report to you all on what a wonderful time was had in Blenheim.
The function began with the obligatory drinks at Fairweathers bar. Thanks to the sponsors Hardy-Jones Clark and Fairweathers, enough social lubricant was provided to ensure that the night was a huge success with lots of fun and entertainment. A great big thank you goes out to Gurv, for MC'ing the evening, and to Leon for keeping everyone on their toes with quizzes and games. Of course my team was the best!
The Congress proper started with the Marlborough District Council-Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Besley, welcoming the attendees and setting the scene for what was to be a very full on and interesting day.
We had an awesome array of speakers and a great depth of topics throughout the day. My hopes for the congress were that YP's would take away some useful experiences and skills that they could apply to their work/study. From the feedback received, it would appear that the congress succeeded in that regard, although the food could have done with some improvement. Take note Hamilton! More food and maybe some energy drinks would not go amiss!
The highlights from me were the talks by lawyer Murray Hunt and Consultant Steve Wilkes. Murray provided a great presentation on expert evidence and the roles of the planner in formal situations, which I gained a lot from. Steve gave a very entertaining insight in the 'do's and don'ts' of a planning consultancy business. If any of you who did not attend are interested in reading some of the material that the speakers prepared, you can grab the information from the NZPI website (search keywords: 2012 Conference Presentations).
Not all of the Congress was smooth sailing and the Beaumont Trophy went missing for a short period of time. Luckily it was returned unharmed and I am sure that Barry Williams will be breathing a massive sigh of relief.
I would like to thank all our speakers who gave up their valuable time to speak to our young planners and share their experiences. We were lucky to have them and I hope you all got something useful out of them.
A special than you also goes to our sponsors (New Zealand King Salmon, Fairweathers, PALMS, Hardy-Jones Clark, Gascoigne Wicks, Wilkes Resource Management, Fromm Winery, Incite, OPUS, and Aurecon) whose support made the congress possible. A great big thank you to the Blenheim YP organising team (Catherine Johnson, Sally Neal, and Ed Chapman-Cohen), and the national NZPI team for making the third annual YPCongress a wonderful experience.
Thanks also to you who attended, thank you for giving up your time and your hard earned cash to come to Blenheim and making it an awesome day. I know next year's Congress has a lot to live up to but I am sure that Leon and his team in Hamilton will do an awesome job. All the best and see you round.
YPCongress12 Local Convenor.
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