Staff at Tararua District Council take pride in selling our district to the world, but last Friday it was about promoting and informing its own district councillors and community board members at an in-house trade expo.

Organised by district marketer and communications manager Lianne Simpkin and her team, the day was a chance for one-on-one interaction and hands-on learning, rather than a traditional PowerPoint presentation.

"The value of that old-fashioned frontline communication can't be beaten," Mrs Simpkin told the Dannevirke News.

"Normally it's death by PowerPoint, but our first trade expo has developed a whole new awareness of all departments within council, including the Alliance."


Tararua District councillors and Eketahuna and Dannevirke Community Board members had 20 minutes at each site during the trade expo which ran from 10am to 2.30pm.

"The feedback has been brilliant," Mrs Simpkin said.

"As well as informing, it was a chance for those councillors and community board members to tell us their concerns and visions for our long-term plan. Normally they don't get the opportunity to meet staff in operations and many were not aware of the scope of council."

Tararua Alliance equipment was also on display with Alliance staff giving in-depth information to those who attended.

"It was a very worthwhile day, but I was buggered at the end," Charlie Death, chairman of the Eketahuna Community Board, said.

"I've been in this game for some time and I'm aware of a lot which goes on, but learning what each department actually does was informative."

Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis said the trade expo was also valuable for two new council staff members who went through as part of their induction.

"Some of the ideas for this expo came from the Local Government New Zealand review and, as a council and district, we'll really reap the benefits," she said.

"Council staff did a phenomenal job and my councillors all expressed how much they appreciated the interaction with staff and the effort they'd put into the expo."