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PM: Speech At Wearable Arts Function

Montana World of Wearable Arts-VIP/Sponsors function

This function tonight is an important opportunity to thank and acknowledge the many sponsors of the World of Wearable Arts.

Congratulations are also due, as they are every year, to the woman behind the Montana World of WearableArt Awards Show 2006, Suzie Moncrieff, and to her team.

I have been lucky enough to attend the WearableArt show for many years now.

Over that time, I have seen the solid foundation of support for the Montana World of WearableArts grow and develop.

The government places a very high value on the arts. We recognise the many ways in which we all benefit from a thriving arts sector. When it comes to making ambitious and significant arts events happen, partnerships between arms of government, the private sector, and philanthropy can make possible what previously seemed impossible.

WOW's sponsors are a great line-up of our tourism board, our national airline, local government, and the private sector.

WOW's success is the result of collaboration between those with creative vision and those with the resources to make it happen.

Montana has made a long-term commitment to the WearableArt Awards. Its sponsorship began in 1998, and continues to this day.

I also recognise other major sponsors, many of whom have been with the WearableArts for a good many years: our host tonight - American Express, Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, and HP New Zealand, along with the section sponsors: Scenic Circle Hotels, AT& T, and CentrePort.

I believe that all the sponsors have made a good choice.

WOW has a strong and positive profile - from the capable and ambitious team leading the Awards Show into the future, to the growing international profile of the Montana World of WearableArts, to the warm welcome and strong ticket sales Wellington has turned on.

It is also good to see continuing support for the WearableArts from local government - both in Nelson, birthplace of the Awards, and from the Wellington City Council which has worked hard as a strategic partner to support and develop the Montana World of WearableArts Awards Show since it came to Wellington.

It is great to hear of increasing international interest in the Awards, with 54 entries from international designers this year . There has been a conscious effort by Suzie and the WOW team to promote the Awards overseas, particularly with their lecture tour of Indian design schools last year, supported by Tourism New Zealand, those efforts are paying off.

WOW is well on its way to "conquering the world" and in the process, encouraging more of the world to visit us here in New Zealand.

Congratulations Suzie, Heather, Gabrielle and Donna and all the members of the wider WOW team - the production, administration and promotion teams, the judges, models, performers, volunteers, designers and artists.

Your efforts over many years have attracted the impressive group of sponsors who are supporting you to take the World of WearableArts to the next level.

Ends

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