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Toitoi manager wins national leadership award

Brendan and Megan

Toitoi - Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre kaiwhakahaere/manager Megan Peacock-Coyle has won a national event industry leadership award, in recognition of her efforts leading Toitoi and its staff through COVID-19 and its ongoing effects this year.

Held at Claudelands in Kirikiriroa/Hamilton on Tuesday night (November 24), the annual Events Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ) Awards recognised just three award categories this year, EVANZ general manager Sally-Anne Coates said.

“This year has been one where normal rules don’t apply, so we were celebrating leaders and team members who went the extra mile to get their venue or organisation through weeks of lockdown and cancelled events.”

The judging panel, comprising representatives from leading entertainment and events organisations and EVANZ Board members, named Ms Peacock-Coyle VMA Leader of the Year.

“Megan was nominated by her staff and worked tirelessly throughout lockdown and beyond, focusing on the needs of her team and her community,” Ms Coates said.

Ms Peacock-Coyle was the lead in developing the Arts, Culture & Events Recovery Plan for Hastings District Council, which supplied necessary funding for its implementation, she said.

“The judges said that what shone through Megan's submission is aroha – for her team and the wider community.”

Ms Peacock-Coyle said it was an honour to win the award, which also reflected the success of her wider team.

“I have such an amazing, supportive and talented team, it makes being a good leader easy! This has been such a hard year for our entire industry, so I’m really thrilled to have been recognised, especially with such strong competition from other finalists,” she said.

Other finalists in the Leader of the Year category included Sean Murray, from H3 (Claudelands, FMG Stadium Waikato and Seddon Park) and Mark Gosling from The Trusts Arena in Auckland.

Hastings District Council chief executive Nigel Bickle said while the win wasn’t a surprise, he was delighted for Ms Peacock-Coyle.

“Megan has been a tireless champion for Toitoi, her team and the wider arts community. She is without a doubt a leader within our Heretaunga-Hastings community, so it’s great that her mahi has now been recognised at a national level, by her peers,” he said.

“It’s always good to know that the talent and leadership we have here in Hastings isn’t just the best in Hawke’s Bay, but all of Aotearoa.”

Photo: Brendan Hines, Venue Management Association (Asia-Pacific) Board Member with Megan Peacock-Coyle, kaiwhakahaere/manager of Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre. Photo/SUPPLIED


EVANZ is the peak body representing the venue industry in New Zealand with a membership of 120 venues nationally. This includes theatres, event centres, outdoor stadia and convention centres. EVANZ aims to provide leadership and builds excellence for entertainment venues and their teams.  EVANZ facilitates the collective sharing of information, enhancement of skills and development of best practice in the entertainment venues industry.

26 November 2020

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