CE: Support for our new citizens and new councillors

Published: 20 October 2022

How good it was to see the many photos and smiling faces that resulted from our recent citizenship ceremony, the first in-person citizenship event able to be held for more than a year.

About 100 new Kiwis were present on the night, supported by family and friends they have made since coming to New Zealand. These new citizens are crucial to our district and their job skills are very much valued; they have come from all around the world to live in our patch, which is now their patch too.

The resumption of public events is welcome after two years under the covid cloud and we are all enjoying getting out and about in numbers.

Staff are busy planning several more public events, including another citizenship ceremony in December and activities for the Nights of Lights Christmas festival, which includes lighting up the giant Christmas tree on Friday 2 December.

Council will also have a presence at the Ashburton A&P show next week and we’ll have staff and elected councillors on hand to answer questions or talk about some of the work we are doing. Drop in if you have a burning question, or just want to say hello or see what’s in our marquee.

The councillors have just begun their induction following the recent Local Government Elections and will be sworn in next Thursday 27 October.

The settling in period for the new council is important, and new councillors will have a chance to learn about what Council does, how those activities are funded, and key issues for the future.

Education sessions run by Local Government New Zealand next week will cover Council fundamentals, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, community engagement and how to build a strong council team.

Council’s Executive Team are programmed to discuss the roles and activities they are responsible for, including finances and issues and opportunities.

Our elected members come from a range of backgrounds and bring different experiences and skills to the table, and our new councillors in particular need to learn and develop new knowledge and understanding in order to get the best outcomes from their time as a Councillor. The end result should be a cohesive Council team connected to the community and working for the best interests of the Ashburton district.

It’s a lot to take in, and all staff are here to help get the new Council settled in and firing on all cylinders.

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