Photos by Chris Hoult

Slow Foods Waitakere AGM minutes

Minutes taker: Tony O’Brien.


Meeting held at Dan and Sue Greig’s place, Waima. Dan stoked the pizza oven.


Meeting commenced 1245. Alessandra Zecchini thanked Dan and Sue for their hospitality.


Sue Greig presented the treasurer’s report which was tabled. Last year’s spending included travel expenses for Terra Madre delegates, gardens in schools and Ranui gardens project and cooking classes. Members welcomed to visit the Ranui gardens. There are currently 53 financial members.


Alessandra spoke of the need to attract new members and to re-enrol former members as they return to Waitakere. Good prospects for growth in the coming year.


Claire Inwood spoke about the Waitakere group’s visit to Terra Madre. 6000 delegates attended, discussion of various projects related to food production, distribution etc. Delegates have brought back literature and photographs and will make these avalaible.


Alessandra presented the President’s report, which was tabled. Encouraged members to send Slow Foods Waitakere links to friends to encourage interest and membership.



Elections: Alessandra invited candidates to come forward, and introduced Sue Greig, Claire Inwood, Joan O’Brien, Karen Perri and Tanya Wilkinson. Terry Shaw-Toomey and Deb Cairns elected in absentia. Sean Shadbolt elected when he strayed too close to the Committee.


Claire Inwood and Karen Perri elected co-leaders by acclamation.


Meeting concluded at 1305

 President Report

Since our last AGM in May 2008 we have been busy with a variety of events to cater for the different types of members. Slow Food means different things to different people, and I hope that you can appreciate and enjoy this diversity that makes us a Convivium  in fact the largest in New Zealand, with 53 financial members. We will strive to organise events, and with our long-term projects developing a socially active convivium.


Particular focus this year was on school gardens and five local schools are now the beneficiaries of the Slow Food Waitakere annual grant to start, and keep, a school vegetable garden: they are Te Atatu Peninsula Primary, Green Bay Primary, Oratia District School, Western Heitghts Primary and Glen Eden Intermediate. I personally followed the gardens at Oratia District School with other parents and teachers, and the children enjoyed growing vegetables, which we then cooked together.


We sponsored the Ranui Community House subsidised cooking classes for children and adults, taken respectively by members Claire Inwood and Karen Perri. Claire also organised two low-cost cooking classes, one on Thai cuisine and one on Indian cuisine, in Piha.


With a focus on producers, many of us actively support the local Farmers Market and the local orchards, so in general there is a good sense of community and environmental awareness among our members.


Since February this year Slow Food Waitakere also has a lot at the Ranui Community Gardens for members to use. Please come around and grow something here, it is a beautiful sunny spot where we can all share seeds, ideas and produce.


In March 2009 we obtained our official registration as a charitable entity, backdated to 30 June 2008.  I would like to thank the committee for assisting with the paperwork, and especially Karen Perri who helped writing the draft for our rules and regulations.



Public Relations


Some of you may have noticed that today more people are aware of Slow Food, and of Slow Food Waitakere. Word of mouth has probably been the best tool, but we also made use of press releases, and have appeared in the local press and in web news.


Since June 2008 we also have a Slow Food Waitakere blog site, which has increased our web presence and profile, and it is proving a good way to keep up with news about the SF movement internationally and locally, to circulate it to increase our readers’ numbers (which are quite high, by the way) and to participate actively by answering posts or publishing.


And now to our events from the second half of 2008.


In August we had a well attended Slow Fish event at Cosi Café in Matakana with chef Dean Betts.


On September 21 we had a great Slow Grappa event, hosted by Sue and Dan, to raise money for our delegates Claire Inwood and Aldo and Mary-Ann Di Cesare, who attended Terra Madre in Italy in October. Once again a great effort from all the volunteers who put a lot of work into it, cooking, making cocktails, and running the event, and by Michael Brajkovich with his talk on distillation.


On October 22, following a well publicised photographic competition themed around the International Year of the Potato, we held the SF Waitakere photographic awards and exhibition at the Lopdell House Gallery. The exhibition ran from October 23 to November 16. Thank you to the sponsors who provided the prizes, Ecopac (through SF members Aldo and Mary-Ann di Cesare), Wilcox, and Fuji Film. Also thank you to gallery director and SF member Lesley Smith, to all at the Lopdell House, and to those who helped on the opening night.


On November 23 we had a memorable Slow Food Waitakere lunch at White Restaurant at the Hilton hotel, with chef Cristiano De Martin and Michael Brajkovich of Kumeu River wines.


On December 10 we had the Meet the Exotics, a wine tasting with Martin Cahnbley of Planet Wines, hosted by Lorraine Cunningham at Sierra Café in Newmarket, and with Deb Cairns as MC.


On February 14 SF Waitakere was present at the Grow’s Show event at Kelmarna Organic Gardens, attended by several of our members despite the rain, and where I did a SF presentation and food demo, as well as judging preserves and homemade drinks.


In March we had a day at the Oratia Farmers Market with a honey event by Karlene and Terry of Earthbound Honey.


This takes us to today, our Annual Event, this year accompanied with wood-fired pizza . Our appreciation to Sue and Dan for hosting us, and to you all for attending and bringing wonderful food and drinks, as always.


And thank you all, dear members, present and absent, for being part of Slow Food Waitakere. Without you and your support none of this would have happened. Slow Food is gaining a name and popularity in our community  a community that is benefiting from it  and hopes to continue doing so for many years to come.


After three years as Convivium leader of Slow Food Waitakere it is time for me to leave the position to the capable hands of other members, so I would like to invite you all to consider our candidates for the committee and for the leadership and to proceed with the votes.


Thank you and take it slowly,

 Alessandra Zecchini


Committee for 2009/2010
Convivium leaders:
Claire Inwood and Karen Perri
Sue Greig
Committe members:
Tanya Wilkinson
Joan O’Brien
Sean Shadbolt
Alessandra Zecchini
Deb Cairns
Terry Shaw-Toomey