Waitomo Citizenship of the year
Waitomo Citizenship of the year award was a surprise to Piopio resident Sheryl Johnson. Nominated by the Piopio community swimming pools charitable trust committee, Rob Hallam -Chairman and Lynne Rauputu - Treasurer, commended Sheryl on her tireless efforts; having instigated the formation of the trust and her vision to retain this valuable community asset.
Hearing of the possible closure and rising operational costs of the local school pool, Sheryl's’ concerns of high drowning amongst children and the need for every child to have the opportunity to learn to swim, was held in mind throughout the project. To pursue the viability of retaining the pools within the community, a standalone trust was formed.
Whilst the pool is located on Ministry of Education land, the asset has now been placed into the hands of the Piopio community swimming pools charitable trust. With ever increasing operation costs and shortage of funding, the certainty of the pools future is heading in the right direction; however some legality are still in the hands of Ministry of Education. Local National MP Barabara Kuriger was on hand at the recent award service and has offered her support to back the group. Several key stakeholders in the community have also offered support and the group are grateful.
Hosted at the Les Munroe centre in Te Kuiti, Mayor Brian Hanna and MC Max Lamb commented on how each individual has improved and enriched our wider community. Among the recipients for Lifetime Achievements; Sarah Ashby, Edith McIndoe and Graeme Plenderleith all had compelling achievements throughout the wider district. Similar stories were shared of the passion, energy and selflessness each nominee contributed to their own cause. Pastor Terry Bradley boldly stated “Their success is your success, by the community that surrounds”. In these words each recipient attributed their “award to those who supported them and their doing was not to be thanked but because they believed it needed to be done”.
Such a true statement and one applauded by everyone in attendance.
For the Piopio district, we are fortunate to have residents whom believe in the community and what it has to offer.
Future plans hope to be known shortly, meanwhile the trust group will continue to aim for the longevity of the pools to be retained as a recreational asset for both schools, sports clubs and public swimming.