Cowboy hats, tassels and glitter hit town for a hoedown as the Pounamu Country Music club hold its annual awards at Levin Cosmopolitan Club this weekend.

It is the third annual Pounamu Awards and organisers are expecting a huge crowd with 100 performers from all over New Zealand entered.

Levin couple Geoff Herewini, musical director, and Teresa Herewini, president and awards convenor, are expecting crowds of between 300 and 400 for the festival.

They said the country music scene is very popular in Horowhenua with a number of established clubs and it was a chance to showcase that passion and love for country music.


The Pounamu club boasts top New Zealand entertainer Ainsley Allen as a member and former winner of the main award, and rising star Roimata Neilsen, who won the main award last year, was a guest singer this weekend along with Ali Flavell.

The winner won the right to attend the annual Entertainer of the Year event in Tauranga.

Geoff and Teresa had tasted success themselves and understood the thrill of attending the Entertainer of the Year award, held every year in Tauranga, having won the right to attend in 2017 as duo Double Blend.

The Pounamu club began in Levin 16 years ago and met on the first Saturday of every month at the Levin RSA from 11am and 3pm, listening to guests and members perform.

"It's not about us, it's the companionship and the family and the singing, and there is nothing better than seeing a young person come through and perform," she said.

They said they were fortunate to have a high-class backing band in Jim Pohe, Kay Tappin and Millie Eltringham, who form Touch of Rhythm.

There are various categories of song that are sent to independent judges of the competition in Australia who then send back the results.

Registration opens on Friday night at 5.30pm with auditions starting on Saturday morning at 8am. The finals begin on Sunday at 10am.