Cer­e­mony changes for new SW cit­i­zens

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Jam scones and tea were aplenty when 12 peo­ple were de­clared new New Zealand cit­i­zens in the South Waikato District Coun­cil cham­bers on Thurs­day.

But as they gath­ered at the front of the cham­bers for the for­mal­i­ties of the cer­e­mony and then after­wards chat­ted with district coun­cil­lors, friends and fam­ily in the lunch­room some­thing was miss­ing - space.

Coun­cil­lor Peter Schulte brought the is­sue to the at­ten­tion of the other coun­cil­lors dur­ing the full coun­cil meet­ing fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony.

‘‘Af­ter the last cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony, or the one be­fore that, one per­son who be­came a new New Zealand cit­i­zen said that he felt that once ev­ery­thing was fin­ished they were pushed out,’’ he said.

Mayor Jenny Shat­tock said she too had re­ceived feed­back so was look­ing at mak­ing changes which could in­clude a new venue.

‘‘I was just talk­ing to [chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig] Hobbs and some of the other mem­bers about look­ing at mak­ing some changes to make it per­haps more per­son­alised,’’ she said.

‘‘Whether we have too many peo­ple up here all at once, whether we move it to the events cen­tre and just have cer­e­monies [rather than con­tin­u­ing on with full coun­cil meet­ings which is what has tra­di­tion­ally been done], or even if we don’t have morn­ing tea first, we could have it after­wards like what we did to­day by ad­journ­ing the meet­ing so we can fin­ish it off,’’ she said.

‘‘Cer­tainly there is go­ing to be some think­ing about it.’’

Coun­cil­lor Thomas Lee said with sup­porter num­bers in­creas­ing dur­ing the cer­e­monies the lack of space was mak­ing things awk­ward.

‘‘There are so many peo­ple in there be­cause of all the sup­port­ers so we need a big­ger area. It’s a bit rude to try and squeeze through peo­ple,’’ he said.

Lee said he also thought it was a good idea to mix and min­gle over morn­ing tea af­ter the cer­e­mony rather than be­fore.

‘‘It’s cer­tainly a lot bet­ter than how we nor­mally have it when we force them out the door,’’ he said.

Shat­tock said she will be look­ing into things and will come back to the coun­cil­lors. ’’Even if there are not a lot of peo­ple we could just use the small room in the events cen­tre. I will be look­ing into it,’’ she said. Con­tin­ued from page 1 was fac­ing. ‘‘The com­mis­sioner has made it one of his priorities to try and get on top of it to try and con­tain this prob­lem of meth’ and the whole or­gan­ised crime scene be­cause it is a big part of that,’’ he said.

‘‘It is largely driven by the gang fra­ter­nity. It is a big pic­ture for us and we are chip­ping away but ob­vi­ously not fast enough.’’

The South Waikato Raukawa Char­i­ta­ble Trust and the district coun­cil co-hosted a re­cent hui on metham­phetamine use which was at­tended by over 80 rep­re­sen­ta­tives from var­i­ous so­cial ser­vices.

For­mer addict Rangi Pou, who now helps those bat­tling ad­dic­tion, led the pre­sen­ta­tion to give an insight into the world and mind of users.

South Waikato deputy mayor Jeff Gash said it was an eye­open­ing ses­sion.

‘‘Cer­tainly it brought home to me how preva­lent it is in the com­mu­nity and that is a worry for me,’’ he said.

Morehu said he would like to see more of those join­ing the po­lice be­ing sta­tioned back in their own com­mu­ni­ties as a way of get­ting through to their own peo­ple.

He en­cour­aged any­one think­ing about join­ing to get in touch with their lo­cal sta­tion or by vis­it­ing new­cops.co.nz.

‘‘Cer­tainly there is go­ing to be some think­ing about it.’’

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