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.

Matamata Chronicle - - Students In Business -

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. ’’

REXINE HAWES

Adri­enne Wil­cock is cam­paign­ing to be a coun­cil­lor for the Mata­mata ward in the Mata­mata-Pi­ako lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

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