Home' Waitomo News : 26 January 2017 Contents 8 Waitomo News Thursday, January 26, 2017
By Nick Jeffrey
A RECORD attendance of 32 countries at
next month’s World Shearing and Woolhandling
Championships in Invercargill points to a strong
future for the sport says World Shearing Council
chairman Greg Herrick.
The event will be held from February 8-11.
“ Traditionally, the Southern Hemisphere is
a big distance for a lot of countries to travel to
New Zealand and Australia, so to have a record
number coming is absolutely fantastic,” he says.
“ The mass of our member countries are in
Europe. There’s a huge number of sheep and
shearing competitors in that area so to get them
down to Invercargill is a great feat by the organis-
The World Council has 13 financial member
countries, all of which can file an application to
host the World Championships. Normally, host-
ing rights are rotated between the Northern and
Southern Hemispheres when possible.
Mr Herrick says the 2017 championships were
initially earmarked for Australia, but when their
bid was unable to proceed Shearing Sports New
Zealand applied for and was awarded, the World
Championships for a fifth time.
“Northern Ireland applied at the same time
and the vote went to New Zealand to keep the
rotation in place,” he says.
“It was originally intended to run the event in
Christchurch, but there was such great support
in Southland, the decision was made to move the
championships to Invercargill. Obviously, it’s a
huge farming catchment.
“ There was an immediate and terrific response
from the people of Invercargill and from the likes
of the Invercargill Licensing Trust, Invercargill
City Council and Community Trust of
“And the facility you have
there at ILT Stadium South-
land is obviously tremen-
dous and ticked all the
boxes, so it was not a dif-
On all four previous
occasions when the World
Championships have been
held in New Zealand, they have
been hosted by Golden Shears in
Mr Herrick, who is closely involved in the
organisation of the annual Golden Shears, says
the break in tradition is a positive one.
“We held the world champs in Masterton in
2012 and felt 2017 was too close,” he says.
“I think it’s tremendous that it’s being held in
another region of New Zealand.”
He says the New Zealand shearing industry
has faced diminishing sheep numbers with
changes in land use seeing the sheep population
decline from 70 million at its peak in 1982 to
almost 28 million today.
However, he believes the competitive shearing
and woolhandling industry has not declined in
“I think our competitors are as strong as ever,
both in New Zealand and worldwide. We are
seeing a lot more competition now from overseas
countries. There are some real parallels to our
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32 countries in world champs
“A lot of overseas shearers and woolhandlers
are coming into New Zealand and
our young shearers head over-
seas for work and they take
all of this expertise and
knowledge with them.
“Once upon a time
it was almost guaran-
teed that New Zealand
would swoop every-
thing on offer at a
but it’s nowhere near like
“We’re not a big industry,
so it’s great that we do share what
we know, and I think that makes for
healthier competition worldwide.
“We’ll get no better example of that than
these World Championships in Invercargill next
The World Council was formed in 1980 with
only three foundation members – Euroa in Aus-
tralia, Golden Shears in Masterton and Bath &
West in England.
Its role is to administer the rules and regula-
tions that pertain to the World Championships.
One of the council’s key decisions will be the
awarding of hosting rights for the next World
“We have one application from France which
is really exciting,” says Herrick.
“ There’s never been a World Championships
“It would be premature to say whether they are
going to be granted it, but providing they tick all
the boxes at our World Council meeting and the
council accepts their application, we’ll be going
to France in 2019-2020.”
Herrick says going to a new country adds
to the flavour and the excitement of a World
“In years to come, we hope the World Council
continues to grow and that we’ll be visiting every
country in the world that makes up the global
The 2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling
Championships will be held at ILT Stadium
Southland in Invercargill from February 8-11.
For more information, visit the website
TE KUITI artist Jane King is thrilled she lives
in such an “awesome and supportive” community.
She held a week-long art exhibition from De-
cember 17-24 to raise money towards travelling
to Columbia in March where she will undertake
missionary work to support orphaned children
(Waitomo News, December 15).
The eight-week mission involves working with
a pastor and community worship team, teaching
and helping to establish an orphanage.
The exhibition raised $1080, with $700 sent to
Columbia for the children’s ministry while the
rest covered the cost of holding the exhibition.
“It [the exhibition] was really awesome,” says
“I was quite surprised actually because it was
right before Christmas which is an expensive
time for people.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who bought
paintings and made donations, we live in a very
The exhibition comprised 25 pieces of art,
many inspired by the bold, beautiful colours of
Columbia, and included Miss King’s own work
as well as her nephew Grant Iti’s.
TE KUITI artist Jane King is delighted with the
support she received to raise money towards
missionary work in Columbia. FILE PIC
“Most of Grant’s pieces were for display only
and I sold nine pieces of art,” says Miss King.
“I’m very excited about the trip, it is getting
close now. I’ve bought my ticket and by the time
I’ve finished work I will have saved enough to
cover my costs while I’m there.
“I’m most looking forward to a new experience
and actually getting in there and giving practical,
hands-on help to the children.”
Art exhibition raises
$700 for Columbia
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