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Otara Community Acknowledges Volunteers

Su’a William Sio
Manukau City Councillor
Chair, Council Plan Committee

PRESS RELEASE - 10 March 2006

Otara Community Acknowledges Volunteers

The Otara Community Board will today acknowledge the work and efforts of its volunteers in a Civic Event being held at the Otara Music and Arts Centre.

Certificates of Appreciation will be awarded to over 200 volunteers by Community Board members and the mayor of Manukau City, Sir Barry Curtis.

Otara Councillor, Su’a William Sio, who is facilitating this event, says that this is the largest number of volunteers from any of the wards of Manukau City.

“The Otara community has nominated 208 volunteers this year and compared with other wards we have the biggest numbers.”

Mr. Sio added that this is only a small percentage of the pool of people that continually give their time, energy and often their own resources to serve other people in our community.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of community & economic development in Otara. We have so many volunteers in Otara and their contribution helps to strengthen and grow our sense of Community Spirit as a local community,” says Sio. “For example, Volunteers

• Organize the Otara Network Action Committee and the Network Forum which provides coordination to the community and government agencies working in Otara;

• Provide leadership and direction to the Otara Youth Action Group who are providing so much positive avenues for our young people;

• Working to provide a vision for a skateboard park in Otara for tomorrows youth;

• Picking up rubbish, cleaning our streets, painting over graffiti, and beautifying the local community;

• Provides a Warden service which provides information and helpful direction to people and JPs to sign documentations, etc;

• Manning the Citizens Advice Bureau office and providing free budgeting and consumer advise to those in need;

• Coaching and training our young people in all the different sports code;

• Providing spiritual advise and counsel to troubled youth, for couples going through difficult times, for families who have lost loved ones;

• Teaching and supporting early childhood centers.

• Governing the Otara Community Law Centre which provides access to free legal advisory services.

• Providing counseling and mentoring to youth at risk;

• And generally supporting the work of paid central and local government officials.

“This ceremony is a small token of appreciation that the Otara Community Board has organized to simply say to all volunteers and volunteer organizations – Thank You - Faafetai – Malo aupito – Kia kaha – we appreciate all your work and efforts, “ said Sio.

Manukau City Council first held a civic function in 2001 to acknowledge volunteers throughout the city in the International Year of the Volunteer. Since then, civic events have been held throughout the city by community boards to continue this tradition.

Other volunteers from Otara who have received national recognition in the past include;
• Bill Wiki who received a QSM from government in 2004;
• Yvonne Matson who was awarded the Most Diverse Volunteer in New Zealand 2005;
• Sully Paea who received the inaugural Kiri Award from the Child Development Foundation in 2004.

ENDS

Otara Volunteers Civic Event
Friday, 10th March 2006
5.30 –7.30pm
Otara Music & Arts Centre, Otara.

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