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NZ Organics Festival of Food and Wine

Thousands heading to Oamaru for NZ Organics Festival of Food and Wine

Thousands of people will zero in on Oamaru on Sunday for the fourth annual New Zealand Organics Festival of Food and Wine.

The event will showcase organics from all over the country and has attracted a string of expert speakers. Oamaru is now considered the organics capital of New Zealand.

Dr Elvira Dommisse, a former Crop and Food Research scientist, will talk about the widespread concern of GE in New Zealand.

Other topics include wind energy, organic sheep and cattle farming and the history of the organics movement in New Zealand.

Nearly 40 per cent of New Zealand farmers said in a 2001 Lincoln university survey that they intended to be farming organically in five to 10 years time.

Richard Main, a former gardener for Princess Diana, will talk growing organics. Main is the manager at Auckland Unitecs Hortecology Sanctuary.

Chris Freear, business development manager for Windflow Technology, said wind was cheaper and quicker than flooding the Waitaki for Project Aqua.

``We believe that Aqua (if it is ever built) will be too little too late to make any difference to the big picture of NZ electricity future.’’

Windflow Technology Ltd is a New Zealand company which designs and manufactures utility size wind turbines.

The festival features stalls of organic food, organic wine and beer along with education, entertainment, arts and crafts. Oamaru is seen as a national centre of Victorian architecture and espouses the renaissance of the arts and crafts movement

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Oamaru’s old buildings are currently under UNESCO’s consideration for world heritage status. The festival will be held in the town’s historic precinct.

The festival will mark the loss of two of their main supporters -- Sir Peter Elworthy who died suddenly in January and Paul Tangney, a local fisherman who went missing, presumed drowned off the North Otago Coast, also in January.

Sir Peter’s wife, Lady Fiona Elworthy, who is a patron of the Natural Heritage Society in Oamaru, will officially open the event on Sunday.

Sir Peter, who was chairman of the NZ Sustainability Council, will be honoured for his contribution to the organic movement.

Paul Tangney, who earlier helped prepare for Sunday’s event, will also be honoured at the opening ceremony.

Opera singer Deborah Wai Kapohe will serve up a musical feast when she appears at mid-day as the star performer. Wai Kapohe is recognised as New Zealand’s most promising lyric soprano.


Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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