Committee clubs face challenges ahead
The continues to profile local government election candidates. This week election hopeful Adrienne Wilcock discusses the issues facing many of our communities clubs in an ever changing social environment.
Our community’s social needs are at the forefront of our residents minds.
Community is about people and Matamata has numerous voluntary organisations to support and enrich our families lives. Business and work opportunities attract people to live here however the social aspect of our community is an extremely important drawcard also.
A basic need of man is to belong and get along, which is supported by the activities and services Matamata has to offer, whether they be cultural, recreational, health related or educational.
These organisations rely on the support of volunteers for their time and expertise to provide facilities and equipment to carry out their activities.
A big ‘‘thumbs up’’ to all our community volunteers.
Our community has changed a lot over the past 50 years.
For rural districts, this is especially so, that were once busy villages with the local hall being a regular meeting point for its residents.
Society has evolved with advances in technology, television entered our lounges, roading and transport improved, not only have our entertainment needs changed but also a wider range of activities have become accessible.
Some clubs have gone into recess. Many organisations are having to grapple with change to meet the needs of its members.
Volunteers are getting more scarce due to work commitments and the variety of leisure activities available.
Clubs must find a way to adapt to survive.
I think the cost of facilities and equipment is a considerable challenge for many committees, and there is a growing trend nationwide towards multi-functional facilities.
Matamata’s netball centre and tennis club have a longstanding effective partnership.
Sharing the pavilion with the brass band has the three organisations operating effectively under a joint committee.
I believe in order for some other sports and community organisations to be successful or merely survive, more sharing of facilities will be a solution for the future.
Why do I say this? Many clubs no longer memberships overheads.
The 1970s and 80s heyday of burgeoning memberships for many traditional sporting codes have long passed. Cashflow is subsequently reduced from lower memberships.
Clubs are now having to pay for goods and services that were traditionally provided by volunteers for free or at next to no cost.
User pays is more common which is more expensive as the value of volunteers’ work was not taken into account in the past.
I think community organisations are now looking to council for support to manage what was once independently organised.
I feel our community will gradually face the challenge of how we maintain the social activities we currently enjoy in Matamata. It will take some brave conversations, a willingness to change and some innovative thinking to take these steps.
There will be tension as sharing facilities will require negotiation and a willingness to work together.
I firmly believe collaboration between a variety of entities with some assistance from council may be a very constructive way forward to achieve the best outcomes for our people, the heart of our community. have large to sustain the
‘‘Volunteers are getting more scarce due to work commitments and the variety of leisure activities available. ’’
Adrienne Wilcock is campaigning to be a councillor for the Matamata ward in the Matamata-Piako local government elections.