OPINION: It appears that I must have made my soon-to-be-ended role look too easy. Nine candidates are after it - if the same ratio had been seeking seats on, say, the Kaiapoi-Tuahiwi Community Board, there would have been 45 candidates for that board.
In fact, despite the very real challenges, there is much to be enjoyed in the position, as with last week when I swore in 36 new New Zealand citizens. All mayors regard this as an important, and enjoyable, part of what they do.
The best part of the job is being out there with all of you at community events, whether I have a specific role, such as at a fire brigade gold star presentation, or whether I just turn up, as at the recent Woodend School Fair.
I have made a huge number of friends and acquaintances - I've got over 1600 contacts in my phone, most of them local. When I leave the mayoralty this weekend, those friends and acquaintances won't disappear.
I've enjoyed the variety of the position. Councils cover a huge range of activities and elected members have to make decisions about all of them. That, of course, gives them all some knowledge across what is going on the district. On top of that, our community has an even larger range of activity to be appreciated and enjoyed - some of it commercial (and that's important) and some of it voluntary. Without volunteers, our community couldn't operate and supporting them is a significant part of what a council does.
A great example of how our community works through volunteers is Roy Adams, who last weekend was awarded a double gold star for his service to the Kaiapoi Volunteer Fire Brigade - that's 50 years on constant call-out - think about it.
Finally, I want to thank all of you in the Waimakariri community for welcoming Marilyn and me wherever we have gone and for allowing me to have the best job I have ever had.
Kia ora koutou.
We need your help for a series we'll be publishing this summer. Tell us about the best things you can find in the South Island - ie the best place to walk your dog, best playground for kids, best place to stop for a swim, best toilets, best icecream/milkshake, or the best place to stop for lunch.
Share your favourite South Island spots and activities by commenting below (and tell us why you love them), or you can send us a PM or email email@example.com
Thirty North Canterbury schools and charities will receive a share of $30,000 from this year's MainPower Community Fund.
Lines company MainPower has been running the contestable fund since 2015.
"Due to the popularity of the Community Fund, we increased the funding available to $30,000 in 2019, a $10,000 increase," chief executive Andy Lester said.
"We also introduced a separate voting stage, where a group of finalists were profiled online, allowing members of the community to have a say in where the funds will be allocated."
A total of $20,000 has been allocated to community groups and $10,000 to school projects. The recipients represent a range of community activities.
"Whether the funding is going towards giving kids the chance to learn about the environment, or supporting the region's most vulnerable, the key thing is that all of the recipients are doing great things for North Canterbury," Lester said.
2019 MAINPOWER COMMUNITY FUND RECIPIENTS
Waikuku Beach Surf Lifesaving
Big Brothers Big Sisters North Canterbury
Community Wellbeing North Canterbury Trust
Amberley Meals on Wheels
Satisfy Food Rescue
Kaiapoi Food Forest
Mini Ha Ha Horse Haven
Rangiora Community Patrol
Southbrook Community Sports Club
Chris Ruth Centre
Kaikōura Community Shed
Good Night, Sleep Tight
Cheviot Community Menz Shed
Rachel's House Trust
Oxford Community Men Shed
Oxford Arts Trust
Reflections Community Trust
Rangiora Community Menz Shed
Hanmer Springs School
North Canterbury Alpine Trust
Rangiora High School
North Loburn School
View Hill School
Amberley Community Preschool
Too often we think that picking up litter is someone else’s job - but collecting rubbish is such a simple way we can help our community, the environment and our own health and wellbeing.
This is why Resene is proud to sponsor the “Walk & Collect Weekend” on December 7 and 8. Take a walk over the weekend and collect a bag of rubbish in your community - it's simple but with a collective effort can make a big difference.
It's free to participate and there are prizes to be won - including a $200 Resene Gift Card! Simply head to their event page and register your interest.