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Community Board endorses Motueka Volunteers event

July 19th, 2017

The Motueka Community Board strongly endorses the annual Motueka Volunteers Awards run by Vision Motueka, but has declined a request to co-host the event.

In preparation for the celebratory afternoon event to be run this year on October 28th, Vision Motueka chairman David Armstrong used the Community Board's open forum yesterday to discuss the event's future.

He suggested a partnership arrangement between both organisations to run it in future. This year will be the fourth time it has been run. (See our earlier story.)

The event involves a catered afternoon tea at Memorial Hall with some entertainment and the handing out of awards to successful nominated community volunteers.

Attendance at the past occasions has been mixed, and David said that the event would have more mana among the community if the Community Board also became involved.

"Vision Motueka trustees feel that if the Community Board were involved more directly with the running of the event, it would strengthen the relationship between the Board and the community it serves, and show a more 'human' face of the Board to the community," he said.

"It would also widen our knowledge of groups and people who should be recognised, given the Community Board's regular contact with so many groups.

"We also felt that because the event celebrates community-wide volunteer work across scores of clubs and organisations, it would be something that the Community Board would see as a broad community-strengthening activity."

He said the occasion cost about $1200 to run, mainly catering costs, hire of the venue and crockery and the making of the wooden award plaques.

"Each year so far, the Community Board has provided money from your Discretionary Fund to pay for some of the expenses, while the rest has come from TDC and our own funds."

In response, Board members said they were strongly supportive of both the event and the great work that volunteers do in the community. Cr Paul Hawkes offered his services on the organising committee, and Board Member Claire Hutt is already on that committee as a trustee of Vision Motueka.

Board chairman Brent Maru said his main concerns were the potential risk Board members would be under if something went wrong on the day, and that agreeing to be a partner in the occasion would open the door for other community groups to ask for similar joint ventures.

He also said that he is "trying to lead the board more into a governance and strategy direction", rather than getting involved in operating community events.

Nevertheless, he told David that the Board strongly endorsed the Volunteers Awards event and would be very amenable to helping out financially through its Discretionary Fund.

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