Eastern Courier : November 26th 2010
www.easterncourier.co.nz Friday, November 26, 2010 WE WANT YOU Please help us to help the National Burn Centre. Text HEAL to 4740 to donate $3. OPERATION THE MAD BUTCHER AND SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS TRUST COMMUNITY Sir Peter Charles Leitch KNZM, QSM. Chairman, The Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust Parade still a buzz Santa's helper: Farmers Santa Parade general manager Pam Glaser prepares for the biggest day of her year. Photo: JASON DORDAY By MATT BOWEN PAM GLASER is a woman on a mission. Friends, family and all things remotely everyday in her life are pushed aside as the Howick resident focuses on the final hours of intense preparation before the Farmers Santa Parade rolls down Queen St this weekend. The show's general man- ager has felt that stress 21 times before. There's nothing like it really,'' Mrs Glaser says. If you try to fit the job into a category it just doesn't work. The best way of describing it is like running a small business. There are so many loose ends to tie up.'' The South African ex-pat has been busy raising funds, organising insurance, manag- ing storage for floats and costumes, dealing with authorities, as well as sorting the parade's budgets since January. Then there's the creative, wow, side''. Mrs Glaser says organisers have invested in popular helium inflatables from the United States, including a giant kiwi in jandals, a rein- deer and snowman. Santa, Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, cowboys and a flower power float will all feature in the show that involves 4000 people. Mrs Glaser says there's something for every age and gender. We always try to balance it -- so there are pirates as well as fairies.'' Problem-solving is also a big part of her job description. If Pinocchio's long nose deflates, she'll sort it; if a float bearing gifts clips an overhead road sign scattering presents across the street like last year, she'll deal with it. The smaller issues that come up can all be solved with a bit of quick thinking.'' On Sunday, she'll be racing around the streets from 6am on a Segway, walkie-talkie in hand working with a small army of volunteers as well as the handful of paid staff and police to ensure everything runs smoothly. Mrs Glaser says the parade is the most incredible wow''. It's so exciting when it all comes together -- the people, music, sound, colour, per- formance, costumes and the crowd. It's such an emotional high. I guess that's why I do it.''The free parade runs from 2pm on Sunday. See P2 for more details. We're keen to run a selec- tion of video highlights of Christmas parades in our online editions. Email your clip (no longer than two minutes) or YouTube link to Oliver. Li@snl.co.nz and watch this paper for details on when to view them at www.east erncourier.co.nz. MP silent until report Pansy Wong An explanation from shamed Botany MP Pansy Wong is not expected until a report into her use of the taxpayer-funded travel perk is completed. Mrs Wong resigned her ministerial port- folios this month but remains the electorate's representative in Parlia- ment. Her electorate office's front gate was locked last week but is now open and functioning as per usual''. Mrs Wong quit Cabi- net after it was revealed that in 2008 her hus- band Sammy used his taxpayer-funded spouse travel allowance to pur- sue private business interests in China. The Parliamentary Service is now checking back through 10 years of the couple's use of the subsidy. Mrs Wong was due back at Parliament this week but Prime Minister John Key says he did not want her to return until the report was com- pleted and she had read it. I want her to be able to answer those questions directly and with the full facts in front of her.'' He says she's unable to do that until she gets the report. I expect my MPs to front up and I'll always be demanding that they do that. But I also expect them to be in receipt of the facts before they give those answers.''
November 24th 2010
December 1st 2010