33 days ago

Farewell from Waimakariri's incumbent mayor, David Ayers

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Northern Outlook

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.

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