On 7 and 8 November, New Zealand Red Cross hosted its annual National Council at the Brentwood Hotel in Wellington. Made up of two delegates from each Area Council, the National Board and Counsellors of Honour, the National Council is the highest decision-making body of New Zealand Red Cross and is responsible for electing the National Board and National President.

After an undeniably difficult year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, our delegates appreciated the opportunity to connect face-to-face to reflect on the achievements and challenges of 2020, as well as to plan for the year ahead. New Zealand Red Cross also took the precaution of ensuring preparedness should COVID-19 circumstances require numbers in attendance at National Council be restricted. Technology played a more important role than in previous years to make it possible to for members and staff to engage with aspects of National Council 2020 from a distance.

The Honours and Awards dinner was a highlight for many, and we were very fortunate to be joined by performers Wellington Batucada and Dr Ashley Bloomfield as the keynote speaker. Dr Bloomfield spoke about leadership, and you can view his full address below. In addition to the engaging entertainment, two awards were presented to our highly valued Counsellors of Honour at the dinner - a 50-year Service Award to Dr Ron MacKenzie and an impressive 80-year Service Award to Mr Paul Watson.

A first for National Council, this year featured an exhibition of New Zealand Red Cross programmes, products and services. The exhibition was hosted by New Zealand Red Cross staff and volunteers, and presented an excellent opportunity for attendees to talk with passionate subject matter experts and network with each other.

Images from the weekend can be found here

Thank you to everyone who contributed to what was a very informative and collegial event. 

Until next year, e noho rā.