Oamaru to host NZ conference

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The Oamaru Licensing Trust hopes the town will be able to benefit from the New Zealand Licensing Trusts Association’s annual conference being held in Oamaru over the weekend.

About 100 delegates from licensing trusts around New Zealand will arrive tomorrow for a function at the Oamaru Opera House before the conference begins on Saturday.

Oamaru Licensing Trust chairman Ali Brosnan said having a number of the trusts meeting each year provided an opportunity to network and work together.

They have found it beneficial in the past to work together through issues that might appear for licensing trusts, he said.

“The main benefit from last year’s conference was doing a collective insurance agreement.”

Currently the main issue affecting the industry is the change to liquor licensing laws so he hoped they could work through the problems together, he said.

The conference, which has not been held here for about seven years, would also be good for the town as there would be more people coming here for the weekend and they would be filling up some of the accommodation, he said.

Partners would have to opportunity to visit the Victorian Precinct and Dot Smith’s gift shop at Riverstone, he said.

“We’re just looking forward to showing them good Oamaru food and hospitality.”

The conference had been streamlined this year to run over one day instead of the usual two-and-a-half days, Mr Brosnan said.

They will still have a number of different presenters talking about topics relating to the industry, including brewing and cheese-making.

Each year, the conference is held in a different location, alternating between the North and South islands. Last year, it was held in Masterton.

Oamaru Licensing Trust general manager Justin Ludlow said there would be a function at the Brydone Hotel following the Oamaru Opera House event on Friday and the weekend would end with a dinner at the Northstar Restaurant on Saturday with comedian Ben Hurley.

By RUBY HARFIELD