Minister of Police, Hon Judith Collins, is impressed with Oxford’s community-led initiatives that have been set up to support residents of the rural township.
“Oxford has great community spirit, with community advocates and organisations working together to address issues such as isolation and mental health which can occur in rural communities,” Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey said. “It was really beneficial to bring the Minister down to Oxford to see first-hand some of the community initiatives that are in place to help our youth and other sectors.”
The Minister was in the electorate on October 5 for a visit arranged by Doocey to touch base with Waimakariri’s hard-working police men and women.
“The Minister visited the Kaiapoi, Rangiora and Oxford police stations to get a briefing on our local issues,” Doocey said.
In Oxford, the Minister met with a range of community advocates who provide support to residents alongside police services, including Jo Ealam, manager of Oxford Community Trust, Judy Rendell (Tussock), Oxford sober driver, and Mike and Nicky Rutherford, owners of Oxford Fresh Choice.
Doocey said two initiatives aimed at meeting needs around public transport were empowering young people and keeping them safe.
“I was lucky to have been at the launch of Oxford Community Trust’s U-Drive programme last year and it’s good to see how many young people are being empowered to get their restricted licences through this programme,” Doocey said.
The Minister also met Judy Wendall, better known as Tussock, who sober drives Oxford’s young people to ensure they get safely home.
Doocey said the I’ve Got Your Back initiative, launched earlier this year by the Trust, encapsulated Oxford’s community spirit.
“It’s about communities finding solutions locally. These are great initiatives that are empowering the community to meet the challenges of everyday life in a small, rural community, knowing that there are people to support them,” Doocey said.