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The Waimak’s strong community service model has impressed Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Hon Alfred Ngaro, Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says.

Minister Ngaro participated in three Building Stronger Communities public meetings arranged by Doocey in Belfast, Kaiapoi and Rangiora on 2 March.

“The idea was to have a community discussion around strong and healthy communities, and how we build those with our local community groups and the support of Government,” Doocey said.

Doocey said it was great to have input from Community Wellbeing North Canterbury and the Waimakariri District Council Community Team at the meetings. “The main ingredient was to have the involvement of our residents and we got some really useful feedback, with the main issues being transport and roading, mental health, supporting our volunteers, and freshwater,” Doocey said.

Doocey said the Minister came to the Waimak with a strong understanding of the community’s resilience from a recent meeting with Australian-based social entrepreneur Peter Kenyon, who, the Minister said, uses the story of the Waimak model to inspire communities in Australia.

“That this expert on community building references our strong community model to other communities was great news for us,” Doocey said.

Doocey said the rapid growth of the Waimak underlined the importance of having strong communities.  “We’ve had two great years of new beginnings and milestones that prove we’re on track, and it is vital that we bring the whole community with us as we continue to grow,” Doocey said.


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