A Garden Club for Everyone...

The Society is over 110 years old and has a modest membership of about 40 people who meet around 8 times a year. As well as bringing together like-minded people to exchange ideas and share tips, tricks and achievements of a horticultural nature, the primary purpose of the Society is to organize and run the biannual Brightwater Flower Shows.

Held over 2 days at the Brightwater Hall, both the Spring and Summer Flower Shows are open to all. District Garden Clubs and Nelson Horticultural Society members are especially welcome to show their flowers. The show schedule also includes a section for school children and pre-school children.

Current affiliations include the National Daffodil Society of New Zealand and the National Dahlia Society of New Zealand.

As part of the Societies commitment to the local Brightwater community, regular donations are made to the Brightwater School and Brightwater Volunteer Fire Brigade.

First Time Entrant?

The Society welcomes and encourages new participants to enter exhibits into both our Spring and Summer flower shows.

The following frequently asked questions will help you get started. Please also feel free to contact our Society Secretary, Christine Squire if there is anything else you’d like to know and to enter your exhibits.

We hope you find the experience fun and rewarding and that you’ll encourage your friends and family to also enter and attend the shows.


Entries must be received by 8pm on the Thursday before the show. Phone the club secretary
Christine Squier on (03) 545 1102 to enter your exhibit.

Entries must be staged on Saturday morning before 9.30am or Friday afternoon 1pm to 5pm.

Yes – As a trial at the 2018 Spring show we will be open to the public while the judging is ongoing. 

It’s free to enter exhibits into all sections. If you wish to visit the show there is an entry fee of $4. Children and members may enter for free.

Exhibits may not be removed without permission before closing time on the final day of the show (3:30pm).

Prize giving is held at 3pm on Sunday.

Brightwater Horticultural Society Inc.

A Brief History

By Pamela Sirett

In the spring of 1903, a small committee was formed with the object of organising a Flower Show in Brightwater in the autumn of 1904 i.e. 4th and 5th May to raise funds to pay off the debt on the new vicarage of St Paul’s Church Brightwater. It as also thought that an annual flower show might be instituted in Brightwater.

The first President was Mr Bettany, Secretary F. Coleman and the first credit balance showed 39 pounds 7 shillings and 4 pence and thirty pound was given to the vicarage fund, the first of many donations over the years. In 1960 the Society had donated six hundred pound in 11 years to the found. In 1907, the Richmond Band was asked to play for 2 nights of the show at a cost of 2 pound. In 1923, the Brightwater Band was engaged to entertain at the show.

In 1912, the show dates clashed with The Nelson Horticultural Society and the Church Festival so the Secretary, Mr Coleman had to use his “persuasive powers’ to change their dates over the telephone. The Secretary wrote to the Railway Manager in 1922 asking him to delay the 4.45pm train on Saturday until 6pm for the benefit of patrons to the show. Initially the shows were held in large marquees borrowed from the Defence Department. By 1906 Mr Bisley had made a tent for the Society’s use, but by 1910, after the hall extension was built and paid for by the Society, the tent was cut into 3 pieces and disposed of. Mr Ellis installed lighting to the extension of the hall in 1912.

But war years were upon us. In 1916 Mr Avery, the secretary enlisted for active service and was presented with a ‘wristlet’ watch. Several fund raising enterprises were donated to the war effort. In the years of conflict during the second world war some shows were missed out due to lack of manpower. 1925 saw the show being canceled due to the Polio epidemic.

The society grew...

200 members and exhibitors received the show schedule and in 1951 it is recorded that the committee consisted of 20 men and 19 women. The Society’s constitution was set up in 1952 and a year later the Society became Incorporated. In 1972 Premier awards were introduced. There was a drought in 1961 but there turned out to be enough Gladioli to make a good show. Different to the drought in 2003 which broke some time after the show and we had very few gladioli on the tables.

There was the social side to the society too. Committee members and helpers had a picnic at Cannan Downs and Harwood’s Hole – 39 people went. During the 1990’s several garden and mystery trails were enjoyed by members. In 1985 concerns were being expressed about the lack of support by the public for a successful show.

Many people gave a lot of time and effort to the Society. One Secretary, Mrs O’Connor, resigned in 1951 as she was not enjoying good health having broken her arm. She was 86 years old and had given 17 years of service. Mention must also be made of Mrs Betty Palmer, who along with many others, kept the Society in good heart in the 1970s and 1980s.

It is through many people that the society has thrived for the last 100 plus years. More recently, in 2015 Pamela Sirett, secretary and Lorna Kerr, treasurer were sincerely thanked for their 20 years of service to the Society, both also received certificates of service from the National Daffodil Society of New Zealand.

Spring Flower Show


Saturday 22nd – 10.30am-4pm
Sunday 23rd – 9.30am-3.30pm

Become a Member

Memberships are offered at an annual cost of $5.
Membership entitles you to free entry (normally $4*) on both days of the Spring and Summer Flower Shows. It also includes a printed copy of the Flower Show Schedule.

Please contact the Society Secretary for further information or to obtain your membership.

*Adult admission for single visit

Officers of the Society

Brightwater Horticultural Society Inc.
Officers of the Society

  • Patron: Lorna Kerr
  • President: Bob Neill
  • Vice President: Arch Crerar
  • Secretary: Christine Squier
  • Treasurer: Christine Squier
  • Publicity: Fiona Guyon

Committee Members

  • Beverley Hodgkinson
  • Marie Hunter
  • Annetta Hodges
  • Lynn Burnett
  • All Financial Members

Life Members 

  • Lorna Kerr
  • Annetta Hodges
  • Beverley Hodgkinson
  • Lester Ricketts
  • John & Marie Hunter
  • Shirley O’Brien
  • Kevin Kerr
  • Arch Crerar

Contact us

(03) 545 1102

Christine Squier (Secretary) for general enquiries, flower show entries and memberships

Mail to:

The Secretary
Brightwater Horticultural Society Inc.
940 Atawhai Drive
New Zealand

Get in Touch

Use this form to email the Society Secretary Christine Squier with your enquiry.

Brightwater Hall

Brightwater Public Hall is located in Centennial Park off Lord Rutherford Road in Brightwater.

Useful Links

More Information

For more Information about the Brightwater Horticultural Society – minute books, scrapbooks, member lists, awards, prize lists and annual show information is available at the Nelson Provincial Museum Pupuri Taonga o Te Tai Ao. Download details or click the link to visit the museums website www.nelsonmuseum.co.nz

In the News

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