Plenty of op­por­tu­nity for city

The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS - ALEISHA RUTHER­FORD

I write this col­umn as Jacinda Ardern takes up the role of Prime Min­is­ter.

It’s ex­cit­ing to watch an in­cred­i­ble fe­male politi­cian elected to lead our coun­try. Many of our lo­cal young peo­ple cast their first-ever votes re­cently.

It was pos­i­tive to hear of schools and agen­cies sup­port­ing demo­cratic ed­u­ca­tion.

Par­tic­i­pa­tion is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant, so too is en­sur­ing an ac­ces­si­ble and rel­e­vant de­ci­sion­mak­ing process. I re­cently judged the North Clus­ter Schools’ Speech Fes­ti­val, and lis­tened to year 6-8 stu­dents talk about their big, bright ideas for the fu­ture.

I thor­oughly en­joyed hear­ing some of our youngest cit­i­zens speak pas­sion­ately about Palmy and iden­tify some fo­cus ar­eas.

As a new­mumI of­ten think about what our city will of­fer my baby Max as he grows up. Peo­ple have been both cu­ri­ous and sup­port­ive about how I man­age a baby and my coun­cil work.

The say­ing ‘it takes a vil­lage to raise a child’ cer­tainly rings true for us.

There are lots of ex­cit­ing things hap­pen­ing in our com­mu­nity and with per­fect tim­ing as we start to see some warmer weather.

The Ash­hurst Skate Park looks on track to be open for the hol­i­day sea­son, our six com­pleted ‘Bikes in Schools’ pro­grammes, com­plete with bike tracks, are prov­ing pop­u­lar dur­ing and out­side of school hours, while our vast ar­ray of shared path­ways across the city are con­stantly well used.

A high­light of my coun­cil work­load is as chair­per­son of the Jaycee Trust Trav­el­ling Fel­low­ship Scheme.

Re­cently it was my plea­sure to award four schol­ar­ships to some pretty amaz­ing young peo­ple in our com­mu­nity. They are each en­gag­ing in ex­cit­ing in­ter­na­tional projects which will pro­vide di­rect ben­e­fits to our com­mu­nity. We al­ways have a lot on and our city is well placed to seize any chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties ahead. Go Palmy!

Aleisha Ruther­ford is a Palmer­ston North city coun­cil­lor who looks after the Youth& stu­dents, Dig­i­tal& tech­nol­ogy, Ru­ral& vil­lages port­fo­lios

WAR­WICK SMITH/ STUFF

The Ash­hurst skate park looks on track to be open for the hol­i­day sea­son, some­thing skater Ja­cob Lidiard will no doubt be thank­ful for.

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