Members of the Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce have been on a mission to revitalise the town's annual Christmas parade to give it the prestige it deserves.

"We want everyone to have pride in our parade and feel as though we've really acknowledged the time and effort they've put into their floats," Chamber of Commerce member Suresh Patel said.

New shields for the winners, complete with a full record of previous winners, have been unveiled and have been a combined effort by Mr Patel, Roly McLean, Dannevirke's new engraver on High St, and Matthew Jensen, who made the shields while on work experience with chamber member and builder Hamish Illsley.

Matthew is currently at UCOL in Palmerston North undertaking pre-trade training before obtaining a joinery apprenticeship and has been working two days a week with Mr Illsley, where he's made the new rimu shields, before helping with a house-build.


"We've cut out rimu and shaped and routed them so Mr McLean could attach new gold or silver shields," he said.

Mr McLean lives in rural Dannevirke and began his new business a month ago. He had been an engraver in New Plymouth before moving to the district.

"We want our Christmas parade to be a big end-of-year occasion, with more appeal for those entering because they put so much work into their floats and now there'll be more rewards," Mr Patel said.

"Winning a shield is now an honour."

As well as new shields, winners will receive cash prizes and be invited to a special prize-giving presentation on Wednesday, December 7 where there will be an opportunity to view the video of the parade.

It's taken Mr Patel some time to find all the missing winner information for the new shields, but he's delighted with the results.

"All the missing gaps are filled and it's fantastic to have the names of all past winners on the shields," he said.

The new shields are now on display in the window of EngraverLAB on High St.