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Arts and culture in Ashburton District
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Mayor Neil Brown, and Chief Executive Hamish Riach, contribute articles to the Ashburton Courier and Ashburton Guardian on a number of topical issues.
The events unfolding around the country, especially in this past week have been rapid and confronting. We are now in unprecedented times that require us – more than ever, to be united as a community and country to work through the challenges of COVID-19. With a Level Four alert now in place for at least the next four weeks, we must all be doing our part to slow the spread of this disease.
As the impacts of coronavirus CONVID-19 continue to unfold each day, we are all assessing our own situations and thinking about what we need to do to best prepare and protect ourselves and the wider community.
Sitting around the Council table is an immense privilege and one that brings a great deal of responsibility – not only for our district as it is now but also for generations to come. The Ashburton District is very fortunate to have a number of crucial projects underway that will help set us up for the future and I'm honored to be a part of the decision-making team that helps brings those projects to life.
The Ashburton Domain is undoubtedly one of our most important local facilities. Looking back over the years, it's provided many great memories like Christmas events, sporting tournaments and days spent with the family in the playground, but now we are turning our eyes to the future and looking ahead to what the Domain could be over the next 30 years.
Ashburton's new Library and Civic Centre is one of our district's most important infrastructure projects to be completed over the next two years, and I'm pleased to report that progress is tracking along on schedule.
Take a walk into the Ashburton CBD these days and its clear the area is quickly transforming before our eyes.
There are several brand new buildings that are in various stages of construction or have been completed.
Back in September last year, I spoke about uniting town and country and the importance of us all working together for the benefit of our district.
The countdown to the 2020 Sister Cities Conference is ticking down fast, and our excitement to host you all in the Ashburton District is growing more and more each day.
Each year, the Council distributes hundreds of thousands of dollars in our district to support a range of community projects that benefit our people, and right now is the time to apply for this funding.
This week, voting for the Methven Community Board by-election opened, and eligible voters in Methven will have begun receiving their voting papers in the mail.
After what has been a considerable time of planning and preparation, I – like many around our district, am very excited to see that construction upgrades to the Ashburton town centre streetscapes will officially begin on Monday (27 January).
Last week, the Council and the Crusaders announced we would be putting our support behind local mental health services this weekend at the highly anticipated Crusaders versus Hurricanes pre-season match in Ashburton, and I urge you to get behind this worthwhile initiative.
Looking back on 2019, there is much to reflect on for our community, and not all of it I can mention in just a few paragraphs, but I'd like to touch on a few things.
Twenty-nineteen has been a productive year for the Council as we've worked to deliver upgrades and core services for the community.
It seems hard to believe that another year is now close to an end, but as we look back at the year that was, it's also great to see some wonderful things coming up on the horizon.
Natural disasters and emergencies seem to have a very effective knack for pointing out our vulnerabilities and this past weekend was a case in point for the South Island. But in the face of the difficulties presented to us, our community and emergency response agencies really stepped up to deal with the situation at hand.
The Christmas season has officially arrived in the Ashburton District, and it all kicked off with a fantastic Light Up the Night event last Friday evening.
Summertime will officially kick off at the end of this week and with the warmer conditions and holiday season set to get underway, now is the time for dog owners to start thinking about the wellbeing of their pets in the months ahead.
Each year, a special opportunity arises for Ashburton's young people to be a part of a team where they can lead and advocate for their peers on matters that are important to them.
In a little over two weeks, a special festival will officially launch our district into the Christmas season, and this year, the annual Ashburton Nights of Lights festival has been dialled up another notch for our community to celebrate the festive spirit even more.