Where would we be without our reserve boards

It’s no surprise to most that I am a big fan of the many selfless volunteers in our community. Whether it’s people giving their time to St Johns, the fire service or helping out at a working bee, there’s a very special feeling you get when you belong to a community of selfless doers. The hardworking people who donate many hours to the numerous reserve boards around the district are some of our local heroes that myself and the Council are especially grateful for.

Ashburton District has a total of 16 reserve boards and five memorial halls. These groups are made up of locals who care about their community amenities and open spaces, whether that be at Tinwald, Ashburton Forks, Mt Somers, Ealing or Ruapuna. Those that form these boards and memorial halls play an important role in maintaining facilities and spaces all throughout the district that benefit our community, including taking care of the lawns, facility bookings, equipment, health and safety, and maintenance projects, just to name a few.

What many people may take for granted when they take their family for a picnic on their local reserve or stop for a break from driving, is that someone has gone out of their way to make sure that these facilities are available and are looking as good as they should.

Some may wonder, why doesn’t the Council look after these spaces then, as surely that’s a Council responsibility? And the answer is quite simple. More reserves and open spaces (to the already 86 reserves and 16 cemeteries that Council currently manages) would mean more resource is needed, and this would undoubtedly have an impact on rates.

Which is why these outstanding reserve boards, memorial halls and pool committees are such an asset to our community. They take on some of these responsibilities, take pride in their towns and rural facilities, and make a conscious effort to give back to the community. It’s a task I believe we should all be very thankful for.

The governance side of Council is a diverse cohort of elected representatives, and therefore the opinions shared around the table do not always agree with each other – which is a good thing. These diverse opinions also extend to the reserve boards and how the Council can work with reserve boards to make these spaces even better.

Recent discussions about these boards reflect that diversity in ideas, but I’d like to take this opportunity to assure our many reserve boards, memorial halls and pool committees that first and foremost, Ashburton District Council does appreciate the selfless hard work of these volunteers and recognises the invaluable service they provide. Your contribution to our district can never be underestimated.

So take this time, sit back, and consider how great our community is because your neighbours, friends, relatives and fellow Ashburton District dwellers want to give their time to make our towns and rural areas special. I know it’s something I don’t take for granted.

Page reviewed: 28 Feb 2019 8:30am