2019-2020 President Report

Well here we are at the end of my term as President of the Waikato Literacy Association. Where did those two years go?  It has definitely been a great ride on the bus as the driver and I’m sure I wasn’t speeding!

A successful council doesn’t happen though without a group of great people

He aha te mea nui o te ao

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

What is the most important thing in the world?

It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

It has been wonderful to see so many in the committee move on up the bus and take on some new roles. I’ve enjoyed getting to really know you – from what you like to read, projects you’ve been working on and even an important photo on your phone.  And definitely building stronger relationships.    

And as I prepare to leave the driver’s seat and move back down the bus – I might just head to the seats right at the back for a little while.  I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of you that have assisted me on the wild ride!

Our committee has such breadth and depth of knowledge and wisdom.  It has been a great team to be part of. I don’t want to single anyone out, you will know who you are and know how you’ve helped making the 2019-2020 year fantastic..

Wow, what a year!

  • We awarded the Marie Clay Literacy Trust award to attend NZLA conference to Georgia Moore (Goodwood School)
  • Awarded a Waikato Literacy Association attendee award to the NZLA conference to Pip Stewart (Hillcrest Normal)  
  • Sponsored $200 worth of Books for Oceania
  • Contributed $300 to the NZLA who sponsor 2 teachers from the Cook Islands to attend conference
  • Maintained our Honour Council status – 17 years!
  • Continued to improve our communication using; Google Drive, gmail, NZLA website, Google forms and Facebook. 
  • Shared our council happenings and other literacy news via Noteworthy
  • Assisted with the distribution of the Literacy Forum
  • Had committee and members of the WLA attend the Arts a Bridge to Literacy conference in Christchurch


Our events throughout this year provided a for a diverse range in our community growing literacy in a multitude of ways 

  • Dr Michael Irwin – Boy oh Boy!
  • Young Authors and Illustrators Day
  • Books for Babes – Huntly
  • ‘Libraries Alive’ event with STEAM 
  • “Telling tales'” with Tanya Batt. 
  • The Power of the Book with Rob Southam 

We have run at a loss with quite a few of our activities this year – something for future committees to consider how best to budget for and manage.  I might just add – in the not too distant future we will have another conference to organise, however we can’t rely too heavily on this to line the coffers in the future.

Investing in books for newborns, afternoon tea for University students (at the Rob Southam event), enabling a school to have a free afternoon with a storyteller, working with an amazing group of Authors and Illustrators with Gifted and Talented Students, sponsoring teachers locally and internationally to conference, and sending books to our pacific neighbours should all help grow the love of literacy throughout different levels within the community.  With these events they all bring an expense. It was a very big year – an expensive bus ticket!

Our plan for 2020 has been formulated well ahead of time – and we have developed systems that make planning and organising so much easier as well as a committee who are prepared to undertake a role in leadership. 

Onwards and upwards for the WLA future – maybe the bus should be renamed the ‘MAGIC WLA SCHOOL BUS’ (a little acknowledgement to Scholastic.)

And by the way one last task  that needed to be completed before I shift on down the bus (because I haven’t quite worked out where my bus stop will be) – I have officially closed the PO Box – even that has been a journey from WRA (Waikato Reading Association) days.

Ngā mihi nui

Sandie Haddock