Turangi wins NZ's Best Community Event award

The small town of Turangi has beaten New Zealand’s biggest cities to win the best community event at the New Zealand event awards.

The town’s Christmas in the Park concert received the prestigious award at the New Zealand Association of Event Professionals (NZAEP) annual awards at the Auckland Museum events centre last night. 

Turangi's 50th Jubilee Christmas in the Park concert, which featured singer Stan Walker, attracted more than 5500 people, double the town’s population. Walker was accompanied by his professional dancers who acted alongside him in the newly released NZ film Born to Dance. Turangi’s own superstar Jackson Owens also appeared during a short home break from recording his new album with US boy band Far Young.

The Safe Turangi Committee identified four years ago that Turangi needed more activities that celebrated the town in a more positive capacity. Since its inception, the Christmas concert has grown in numbers, support and capacity.

NZAEP chief executive Vicki Watson says the fact that the event is organised by a team of dedicated volunteers and young people contributed to the successful event providing community cohesion, identify and pride.

“The survey feedback received was phenomenal with many noting how proud they were to be from Turangi. This project benefitted all sectors of the community particularly during Christmas time, where families and individuals are often challenged to meet day to day living cost on top of additional Christmas expenditure.  To be able to provide an event of this calibre for free at this time of the year is hugely beneficial for families who struggle the most.”

NZAEP chief executive Vicki Watson says the community events category attracted the most entries and provided one of the toughest competitions in the awards.