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New Governance Structure for NZ's Largest Culinary Festival

Friday, 13 December 2013

New Governance Structure for New Zealand’s Largest Culinary Festival

The formation of a new trust to head Visa Wellington On a Plate signals the growth and development of one of New Zealand’s premier culinary events.

The Wellington Culinary Events Trust (WCET) has been established by Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) and Grow Wellington - founders of the annual event – to govern and further develop the festival and surrounding opportunities.

PWT Chief Executive David Perks says at an operational level, the festival will remain the same. However, the new structure will ensure the trust’s focus is on a year round proposition - building the festival offering, attracting more out-of-town visitors to the 17-day event, and developing further opportunities to support Wellington's culinary offer 365 days per year.

“Our intention was always to incubate Visa Wellington On a Plate before passing it on to a team of experts who could then turn it into an event of world culinary standard, firmly etched on the bucket lists of foodies throughout the world.

“In just five short years, Visa Wellington On a Plate has grown into New Zealand’s largest culinary festival and a must-do event on the winter calendar. We are incredibly proud of what the team has achieved and are equally excited to pass it on to an independent trust, which will be able to give the festival the expertise and attention it craves to further thrive.”

Since the inaugural festival was pulled together in just six weeks in 2009, DINE Wellington participation has increased over 150% and the Festival Events programme has grown over 270%.

“The festival not only works as a dedicated food brand for Wellington but also provideseconomic benefit to Wellington, attracting visitors and exposure for businesses throughout the region,” Mr Perks says.

WCET Chair Rachel Taulelei – Chair of the former Wellington On a Plate Advisory Board – says the festival may only take place for a fortnight each year, but it has provided the wider region with a platform on which a year-round proposition can be based.

“Visa Wellington On a Plate supports, strengthens and highlights Wellington’s incredible cuisine community and has been pivotal in positioning the region as the country’s culinary capital.”

Trustees are currently being appointed, with both of the founding organisations also to be represented on the WCET Board.

Recruitment will commence shortly for a Chief Executive/Festival Director to operate both the trust and festival.

Ends

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