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Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT) Board of Trustees, Charles Wilkinson announces resignation after 18 years.

August 30, 2022

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More than 18 years after he first joined the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT) Board of Trustees, Charles Wilkinson has announced he has resigned as its chair.

Charles first came onto the TAFT board in 2004, and has been chair since 2016. A director at New Plymouth law firm Connect Legal, Charles has played a significant role in developing the events scene in Taranaki over a long period of time.

“It’s important for any organisation to get new blood, which leads to a new direction,” Charles says. “It’s been a wonderful part of my life, and leaving comes with real sadness to leave, but it’s the right time.”

“BERL, our independent economic partner, found that festivals in Taranaki generated $125.9 million to benefit the region from 2003-2018. That’s a phenomenal sum of money. Taranaki has gone from being seen as a sleepy, quieter place, to being very much on the map in the events space across not only New Zealand, but Australasia.”

“TAFT has been through some fairly challenging times in the six years that Charles has been chair, and the fact we’re still here and going extremely well is testament to his leadership,” says TAFT CEO Suzanne Porter.

“Charles is a very clear thinker and open communicator, and his steady hand throughout many uncertain situations has been extremely valuable. We’re very sad to see him go, and we wish him all the best.”

Charles is succeeded as chair by current TAFT board member and BOON Managing Director Glenn Brebner.

 “Charles leaves behind an incredible legacy,” Brebner says. “It’s been a great privilege to be on the board under his leadership, and our challenge now is to capitalise on the incredible groundwork Charles and the team have done to continue to grow Taranaki as one of New Zealand’s top events destinations.”

“It’s time for Glenn to provide his enthusiasm and energy to the organisation and drive it to new places,” Charles adds.

“I have huge admiration for Glenn, and I also need to express my appreciation for Suzanne and the very professional and experienced staff in the TAFT office. Their expertise and dedication are a key part of why they’ll be successful into the future.”

A decision around appointing a new board member will be made in due course.

Written by Nick Walker

WOMAD NZ Publicist

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