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20 août 2008

Oil company renews Womad sponsorship

By ROB MAETZIG, Taranaki Daily News, Saturday, 09 August 2008

Conditions were freezing - but the mood was warm on stage at New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands yesterday.

That's because the more than 100 invited guests who huddled under gas heaters on the stage had just heard the news that the biggest corporate sponsor of Womad was renewing its sponsorship for another two years.

As the wind howled and the rain fell on the Womad site, Shell New Zealand's country chairman Rob Jager used the shelter of the Bowl stage to make the announcement.

He told the guests the sponsorship of Taranaki's premier music, arts and dance event was part of Shell's ongoing efforts to be a good neighbour.

"By partnering with Womad, we believe we are helping build a thriving community in Taranaki - one that our employees will want to live and work in, one that meets our skill requirements, one that encourages creativity and new ideas, and that benefits the whole community," he said.

"And of course there's the bit we all enjoy - attending Womad."

Taranaki Arts Festival Trust member Lynn Bublitz told the gathering Shell had been a corporate partner of the Taranaki Womad since its inception.

"Frankly, Womad would not have been possible without Shell's assistance," he said.
"It costs around $2 million to put Womad on, and half of that cost comes from our sponsorship. Simply put, if we had no sponsorship, people would have to pay double to go - and fewer would attend."

Mr Bublitz reminded the audience that more than 150,000 people had so far attended Womad, with more than 70% of them coming from outside Taranaki.

"And so far the event has been worth $6.5 million to our economy. So you can see that thanks to Womad's ongoing partnership with Shell, everyone benefits."

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