Festival role delight for art deco devotee

22:37, Jul 19 2012
Debbie Schriek
OPEN ARMS: Art deco is Martin McPherson’s cup of tea.

Event co-ordinator, councillor and china collector Martin McPherson's appointment as the Ranfurly Art Deco Festival event manager suits him right down to his circa 1930s tea set.

Over a celebratory cuppa yesterday, Mr McPherson reflected that the art deco era had always fascinated him, hence a home full of vintage and retro pieces collected over 30 years.

"The festival theme suits me right down to the ground. I'm really excited about getting the job and the opportunity to work with a very vibrant committee. It's going to be a challenge and one that I'm welcoming with open arms."

One of the first jobs in his one-year contract would be to secure more funding sources to build on the solid base established by the core group of Maniototo people who started the festival in 2000 to celebrate Ranfurly's art deco architecture and heritage.

Organising committee member Diane Paterson said she was delighted to have secured Mr McPherson's services for what had become a significant event on the region's calendar.

"Martin is well-known to many in Maniototo through his event management of the Alexandra Blossom Festival and his role as a Central Otago councillor. With his wealth of experience and contacts, the committee look forward to working with him."


At a recent Maniototo Community Board meeting, Mrs Paterson told members that the event had got too big for a small committee to run and that it needed help to expand and attract more visitors to the region. Despite a clash with the annual Goldfields Cavalcade last year, the festival still managed to inject $60,000 into the local community. The board received a Central Otago District Council contribution of between $4000-6000 to help run the event.

Mr McPherson said the next few months were going to be extremely busy. He is managing the blossom festival in September, the off-shoot fashion design event WoolOn in October and the art deco festival in February 2013.

"It's great though and all good for the region."

Next year's event is set for the last weekend of February.

The Southland Times