Conference & AGM 2021 - Christchurch City Library - Tūranga
Chairperson's Report


The conference and annual general meeting this year were held on 22 May at the new Christchurch City Library - Tūranga. The meeting room was well appointed and located in Cathedral Square, central for everywhere in the reemerging Garden City. 

The Committee in 2021: Wilhelm Lehmberg (Chair), Brian Farrant (Financial Officer), Angela D'Aquaro-Law (Membership Secretary), Victoria Messer (Association Secretary). Ordinary Committee Members – Kristen Kinney, Martin Sliva, Jennifer Sloots (Victoria Messer as Web Administrator).  Meet the Committee 2021


Thursday 20 / Friday 21 May - Pre-conference famil trip was this year to the West Coast which involved travelling across Arthur's Pass to Hokitika and beyond. Once on the Coast Brian Farrant's NZ Cycle Tours business provided bikes and manpower to take the group along the newly developed West Coast Wilderness Bike Trail. After an overnight stay, the members made their way back to base after a good look around in support of the Hokitika township businesses.  


Friday 21 May 2021 – Saw us gathering for a drink and dinner at Casa Publica, Cnr New Regent and Armagh Streets. This is a new build in the one street in Christchurch which survived the 2010/2011 earthquakes better than any other. 

Saturday 22 May – Conference ran without any hitches, our guest speaker being Chris Roberts of the Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) talking about post Covid tourism in New Zealand. 

Saturday night's social dinner was at the quaint and historic Curator’s House, Botanic Gardens, Rolleston Ave.

Sunday 23 May - Famil around Christchurch - with transport provided courtesy of Moa Trek Travel. 

  • Salt Water hot pools, New Brighton (including morning coffee stop) which was a stunning new addition to the waterfront at New Brighton 
  • The Tannery shopping and entertainment centre which was credit card alley extraordinaire along with awesome eateries and foodie outlets
  • Lyttelton Harbour Short Cruise & introduction to port developments - a brief introduction to the Black Cat's options and a beautiful trip around the harbour. 
  • Christchurch Adventure Park: gondola ride - a busy place due to competition day activities but it was great to get a trip up the gondola in the time we had there.
  • City Centre walk about and update by Helen Tait for those in the second wine bar sitting! Thanks Helen for your insight to your city. 
  • Arts Centre update and wine tasting option - a highlight in the old historic building with fantastic wines,  food and hosts! 

  • Monday, 24 - Famil to Kaikoura - Thanks to Dermot for providing the transport! 

    • Walking history tour
    • Museum
    • Amazing lunch at Simes with a local beer Tasting
    • A tour of the Kaikoura I Site
    • We had a fabulous time with Kaikoura business backing this famil - thank you!

    ProGuides Chairperson’s 2020/2021 Report

    Looking back at a year of ongoing Covid-19 turmoil - it is with pleasure that I present this report to our members:

    The year past in general:

    As I already stated in last years report – we are still in the process of filling ProGuides history books. Some of our members – be it only a few – had ample work with the domestic market, while most of us turned to survival mode and ventured out into new/different enterprises. That was certainly easier for those of us that already had had secondary jobs in the years prior. We lost a considerable amount of members, especially ones that had only joined fairly recently, but the ones that held it together were the ones that have been in the profession for a while and had experienced various periods of ups and downs over the years. Although nothing like what Covid-19 has presented us with since March 2020.

    Work within Committee:

    It was thanks to the rest of the committee that I was supported incredibly well. Our numerous meetings online (due to urgent issues and events that I will be elaborating on further down) became the best way for communication and discussion.

    On the foremost I have to mention Lu, our Finance Officer, come part anything (website, newsletter, reports, press releases and emails and letters to Ministers etc. supporting our Secretary Helen) – her support work was immeasurable. And while delaying her ‘paid engagement’ as our hired Executive Assistant (EA) she even saved us money while still doing the work. She kept me on my toes and was able to attend some of the most important physical meetings with me, where again, she was of enormous help! I was very sad when she put in her resignation but I hope that she will remain a loyal and helpful member because the experience she has with just about anything ProGuides will remain invaluable to the association! It is important to point out that we were not always in agreement but at all times she was honest and straight up and her sometimes fiery spirit kept me and everyone else on their toes.

    Another Committee Member that I need to thank particularly is Helen. Without her experience and firm hand when it came to our meetings I would have struggled even more with the formalities. Whenever it became important to remember the essentials and stop us drifting we could rely on Helen to politely steer us back onto the right path and into the right direction. The same did apply in case when discussions became a bit heated.

    Lu and Helen have served our association so well by volunteering their valuable time over so many years that I can only take my hat off to them. Thank you so much in the name of ProGuides NZ.

    Furthermore I am particularly glad that Angela has decided to remain as Membership Secretary as she offers lots of experience there and it is wonderful that Victoria and Brian are willing and keen to step up and stand for Officer roles this year and even Kristin is willing to continue to support us on committee – this should create a great team to face the uncertain challenges ahead! My sincere thanks once again to all committee members of this past ‘unprecedented’ year!