As today marks the first Mayoral Matters column, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy New Year and a productive and prosperous 2021.
With the challenges and obstacles thrown at the world last year, I trust you all found time to enjoy the holiday season and spend quality time with family and friends.
It has been pleasing to see the Waimate district bustling with visitors and families in recent weeks, with many taking in the great activities, shopping, dining and sights the area has to offer.
Also particularly pleasing is the uptake at the council’s camping grounds this season, with the border restrictions clearly prompting more local travel – most of which includes the quintessential Kiwi camping trip.
Our site supervisors have reported excellent compliance so far this year, and we’re delighted so many can enjoy the Waimate lakes area, while respecting the rules and being considerate to fellow campers. It’s a magical part of our country and we’re incredibly proud to have these backdrops and vistas right here on our doorstep.
Closer to home, it certainly wasn’t the start to the year any of us expected – not least of all with the flooding damage and disruption caused to both the council’s main office and the Waimate District Library in Queen St.
The library has remained closed for the past eight weeks, with supply chain delays for new carpet and furniture holding up the process a little longer than we would have liked.
But rest assured, we’re doing everything possible to get the doors back open and our library staff can’t wait to welcome you all back soon.
In the interim, our library staff are still on hand to assist with any queries you may have, as are the customer service team, temporarily working out of the Waimate Event Centre until business operations return to the main office.
Meanwhile, as we look ahead to next month, March marks a busy few weeks on the calendar as we welcome the 35th March Hare Rally, celebrate the 2021 Waimate Civic Awards and look forward to the Bushtown Steam Up Day.
For those who haven’t been, the March Hare Rally is a unique occasion to enjoy bikes, bands and all-round March Hare madness, while the Steam Up Day is a great opportunity to step back in time and get out and about for a memorable day of history.
Though if you’re looking for something to do a little sooner, get down to Victoria Park on Sunday and support the competitors involved in the annual Whitehorse Big Easy.
With biking, walking or running on show, all proceeds go towards selected charitable causes and help to further develop the amazing tracks throughout the district.
Until next month, stay well.
- Craig Rowley is the Waimate Mayor