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New Plymouth promises 'energetic' convention - book your place now!

Welcome to the Energy Convention ‘like no other’

The Bell Block Puketapu Lions Club and Lions Clubs of District 202D Zone 6 look forward to welcoming the upcoming Multiple District Convention to Taranaki, the region ‘like no other.’

Home to pristine walking tracks, world class gardens and some of New Zealand’s best galleries and museums, New Plymouth is the perfect destination for the 52nd Multiple District Convention in April 2012.

There’s an unmistakeable energy to New Plymouth. It’s in the oil and gas that comes up from the ground; the dairy industry; the vibrant events programme; the warm welcome of the residents, and the thriving local businesses.

This energy hasn’t gone unnoticed. New Plymouth was judged the best place in New Zealand to live by North & South magazine.  The international Liveable Communities Awards named it the best small city in the world, and the city’s Coastal Walkway the best environmental project.

Nestled between the picture-perfect peak of Mount Taranaki/Egmont and the sparkling surf beaches of the Tasman Sea, New Plymouth is a treasure trove of stories and adventures waiting to be experienced. Our region is home to a dynamic arts and culture scene that is behind iconic events like WOMAD and the Parihaka Peace Festival, and institutions like the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, widely regarded as New Zealand’s best contemporary art museum.

If art’s not your thing then after the Convention is over grab a surfboard and head to Fitzroy or Back Beach or further round Surf Highway 45 for some world-class waves, or take a walk on one of the dozens of walkways or fantastic parks around the city, or head up nearby Mount Taranaki to New Zealand’s most accessible National Park.
To find out all you need to know about Taranaki, visit the region’s official website

Convention Hub: The Devon Hotel

Centrally located within walking distance of New Plymouth’s CBD, The Devon Hotel is Taranaki’s largest hotel-based conference centre and offers a great selection of conference venues amidst beautifully landscaped gardens. The Devon has a wide variety of accommodation options available with access to the extensive amenities, including complimentary internet access, mountain bikes to get you out on the Coastal Walkway, gym access and a fantastic luxury spa and pool complex. Other accommodation is also available nearby.

International Guest: Eddy Widjanarko

Eddy Widjanarko, from Surabaya, Indonesia, was elected to serve a two-year term as a director of the International Association of Lions Clubs at the association’s 93rd International Convention, held in Sydney, Australia, June 28 to July 2, 2010. A member of the Jakarta Nusantara Lions Club, and a Lion since 1984, he has held many offices within the association, including club president, district international relations chair and district Merl co-ordinator.

In recognition of his service to the association, he has received numerous awards including the 100% President Award, eight International President’s Certificates of Appreciation and two International President’s Awards. He is a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow. In addition to his Lions activities, Director Widjanarko is active in numerous professional and community organisations, including serving as president of the Indonesian Footwear Association and as committee chairman for Foreign Trade for the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. He also served as president of the International Footwear Conference. Director Widjanarko and Linda Santoso have one son and three daughters.

Opening Ceremony Guest Speaker

John Perriam of Bendigo Station, Central Otago and better known as the owner of Shrek, the hermit merino sheep will join the convention on Friday evening as the opening ceremony Guest Speaker. John and his late wife Heather have taken opportunities to fundraise for charitable organisations such as Cure Kids and Life Education Trust. John will share some of his experiences and more, as told in his best-selling books, ‘Dust to Gold’ and ‘Shrek, A Kiwi Icon’

Beyond the Convention

Taranaki’s legendary landscape and rich history present many fantastic adventures for the 52nd Multiple District Convention Partner Programme.

Morning Tea at Tupare Garden

Sculpted from a hillside overlooking the Waiwhakaiho River, Tupare is a beautifully landscaped garden on the outskirts of New Plymouth. The property’s original developer, prominent businessman Sir Russell Matthews, bought the property in 1932 as a gorse and bracken covered hillside. His clear vision, strong sense of style, the skills and wherewithal for major construction and a keenness to be the first to acquire many rare and fashionable plants, have created a grand property punctuated by a homestead designed by prominent architect James Chapman-Taylor and numerous paths and walks. The property’s landscaped garden contains majestic trees, a water feature and extensive plantings in different settings. Sense the prestige, lifestyle and stories of Sir Russell Matthews and his family with a guided tour of the homestead and garden.

Cross Te Rewa Rewa Bridge

Reminiscent of a breaking wave or a whale skeleton, New Plymouth’s Te Rewa Rewa Bridge has been rapidly winning international accolades. Already a local icon, the tied-arch bridge was opened in June 2010 as part of the extension of the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, making possible a 10-kilometre off-road route for cycling, walking, running, skateboarding and rollerblading. Spanning the Waiwhakaiho River, its form represents the sacred relationship between the land, sea and wind with the Ngati Tawhirikura tribe.

See the Len Lye Wind Wand

At the centre of New Plymouth’s Coastal Walkway stands the 45m kinetic artwork 'Wind Wand'. A vision of New Zealand’s great international artist Len Lye (1901-1980), the Wind Wand fuses art, motion and engineering innovation, and has 1,296 lights in its glowing red ball.  Lye’s collection and archive is housed at the nearby Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, which showcases the latest contemporary art from New Zealand and further afield, and is widely regarded as New Zealand’s leading contemporary art museum.

Stroll through Pukekura Park

Often described as the jewel in New Plymouth's crown, Pukekura Park is one of New Zealand's premier botanical gardens located in the heart of New Plymouth city. The 52-hectare park contains a diverse range of landscapes, many plant collections and exotic specimen trees, formal gardens, lakes and walking trails through native bush. The adjacent garden estate area of Brooklands is home to the acclaimed TSB Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Zoo. Over the summer months, the TSB Bank Festival of Lights transforms the park after dark into a fairyland setting, complete with thousands of lighting displays and an exciting events schedule.

Lunch at New Plymouth Club

Enjoy a bite to eat served with impressive views along the New Plymouth coastline and out to the Tasman Sea. Your table will be set for a lunch to remember at the New Plymouth Club.

Photos: Majestic Mount Egmont/Taranaki. International Director Eddy Widjanarko. Beautiful Pukekura Park in the heart of New Plymouth. Image by Rob Tucker. Te Rewa Rewa Bridge. Image by Mark Harris.

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