Home' Central Canterbury News : July 31st 2013 Contents 7
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CLASSIC CHARACTER: Helen Moulder is Playing Miss
August 15: 7.30pm Darfield Recreation Centre
$15 Book: Selwyn Art Gallery
August 16: 7.30pm Ashburton Trust Event Centre
$25 each; $22.50 each for 2 or 3, $20 each for 4
or more. Door sales all $25. Book: Ashburton Trust
Event Centre Box office or www.ticketdirect.co.nz.
August 17: 2pm Balcairn Hall
$20 including afternoon tea. Book: Sally Mac's
Amberley; Stan's 7 Day Pharmacy, Rangiora.
RURAL THEATRE-goers in Canterbury
may have great expectations of a production
coming to town next month.
Veteran New Zealand actress and singer
Helen Moulder will be playing Claudia, a
rural Cantabrian who -- looking for more
excitement in her life'' -- covets the role, in a
film, of a classic Dickensian character, in the
production of Playing Miss Havisham.
As she prepares for the role of spurned-
bride Miss Havisham, Claudia's own life
takes on all the twists and turns of a
An actor and singer for 40 years, Ms
Moulder has worked in theatre, radio, tele-
vision and film.
She co-wrote the play with director Sue
Rider, and there are two musical pieces that
have been written especially for the show by
The production is brought to town by
Arts On Tour New Zealand, which organises
tours of outstanding New Zealand perfor-
mers to rural and smaller centres in
Ms Moulder said she loved touring.
I love being in rural New Zealand, where
I grew up, enjoy meeting the audiences
afterwards over a cup of tea. Last year was
Dickens' 200th birthday, but I toured Aust-
ralia more than New Zealand, so this is a
belated birthday tour. I'm going to all the
places with this show I haven't been before
and am really looking forward to it.''
Overseas rural tours
popular with farmers
By JILL GALLOWAY
FARMERS and retired rural
people are travelling more to
see farms and New Zealand pro-
duce overseas, says a rural
Ron McPhail, managing direc-
tor of Palmerston North-based
travel company CR McPhail,
said he had just taken two far-
mer tours around the Baltic
states (Lithuania, Latvia and
Estonia) and to Finland, as well
as one that went to Slovenia,
Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.
His company also takes
annual trips to look at farms
and factories in South Africa,
Canada and China.
The firm focuses on such
special interest agricultural,
technical and business tours.
McPhail said farmers and
retired farmers made up most of
his out-going trips, but in the
past he had also had veterin-
arians from the Czech Republic
and meat processors come to
He said they visited farms
and stock sales, and inves-
tigated cheese, honey and fish
McPhail said farmers liked to
see iconic sites, but they wanted
to know about the potential
and existing market for New
Zealand produce as well, and
often visited supermarkets.
In Vilnius (the capital of
Lithuania), we talked to a chef
who was cooking Silver Fern
lamb rumps. He was wanting
good quality produce and the
restaurant was also selling New
Zealand wine, but it was listed
under German produce.''
In Finland's capital, Helsinki,
the group also saw Zespri kiwi-
fruit and New Zealand gala
apples for sale, McPhail said.
They wanted to know how and
where New Zealand produce
was marketed, and there had
been no drop-off in people want-
ing to travel, in spite of the
tougher economic times, he said.
We are known through word-
of-mouth, visitors to our web-
site, and we do some advertising
in farming papers.
This year, we have had a lot
of repeat clients, as well as a few
new ones, which has been great.
They come from all over New
Zealand. And on some tours,
there are some Australians too.''
McPhail said he travelled
with 26 New Zealanders and
five Australians to Slovenia,
Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania,
on a month-long tour in May
He said the consequences of
communism were still apparent,
with many dilapidated factories
and run-down apartment build-
ings, and abandoned land, still
obvious in some places.
Subsidies are an essential
part of farm income. Significant
European Union (EU) grants in
countries within the EU that
we visited, or in the case of
Croatia which is about to join,
have kick-started a number of
McPhail said grain silos and
dairy processing were plants
that had received EU funding.
For a lot of New Zealand far-
mers, it is an eye-opener, and
they become more globally
aware. They see what needs to
be done to sell produce.''
He said it was really the high-
value, niche products that New
Zealand filled, rather than feed-
ing a growing population.
He said there could be an
opportunity for New Zealand to
export more as population and
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