Letter: Driving force?

Last updated 13:23 13/06/2014

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OPINION: Before the 2013 local body elections, Angela Newell publicly claimed to have ''developed the ILT Kidzone'' festival.

In the 2014 Kidzone promotional brochure, she claims to have ''been the driving force behind this event from the beginning, involved with developing the concept, the creative process.''

Certain parts of these broadly generalised claims are true to an extent, but ''creative process'' is a term I find to be eloquent at the very least.

''Driving force'' is a very loose term which needs clarification, and ''developing a concept'' is also a very general term bordering on being evasive.

My daughter, Richelle Waldron, is the real person who is responsible for what Kidzone means to the community. She was employed fulltime for seven years as director of this festival.

I witnessed, first hand, the personal efforts and work she did designing and personally painting much of the Tiny Town attraction, the Funky Dos salon and so on.

On the other hand, she had the rare passion and understanding vision of what enthrals the imagination of children.

With that in mind, it was she who developed most of the attractions which are tried and true, and still there to this day.

I feel that the failure to acknowledge Richelle in the section of the brochure titled ''Behind the Scenes'' is an affront to Richelle.

I hope Angela Newell will have enough integrity to tell us through this column, what she meant when she said she was the ''driving force'', how she ''developed the concept'' and the ''creative process'' and make it clear how she is not claiming the credit for someone else's work.

If Angela indeed achieved all these tasks she claimed, can she please clarify for us what Richelle's job description was as festival director.

FRED WALDRON
Invercargill

Venture Southland chief executive Paul Casson replies: Your correspondent has misinterpreted what is actually written in the ILT Kidzone programme.

Angela Newell is the creative projects manager at Venture Southland who has been involved with Kidzone since its inception. She has been involved in developing the concept and the creative process.

Richelle Waldron was employed for seven years from 2005 to 2011 as the creator and manager of ILT Kidzone.

Richelle's creativity, imagination, enthusiasm and drive for the event during this period was without question.

Many people, mostly in a voluntary capacity, contribute to the making of the ILT Kidzone the iconic event that it has become and we are indebted to them all. As always, we are looking forward to another fun-filled event this year.

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- The Southland Times

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