New advisory group with Wellington SPCA staff Rachel Norman (left), Jennifer Taylor, Konrad Freeman-Brown, Adele Hawkswell (veterinary manager), Jenny Waters, Nick Taylor (principal adviser), Bex Johnson, Matt James, Linda O’Connor (community partnerships co-ordinator), Steve Glassey (chief executive officer). PHOTO/SUPPLIED
By Jake Beleski
An eclectic group of residents have been chosen to represent Wairarapa in the newly appointed Wairarapa Advisory Group for the SPCA.
They include a lawyer, veterinary surgeon, business consultant and a marketer, and they met for the first time last week at the Carterton Events Centre.
Masterton District Council councillor Bex Johnson is part of the group, and said they had a couple of short-term goals.
“One is to lift the profile of the SPCA in Wairarapa.
“The other is to start creating some community partnerships, because there are people out there doing their own fostering – we want to be in touch with those people so we can assist them..”
The group will report to the Wellington branch of the SPCA, and would provide a voice between people in Wairarapa and the administration in Wellington.
“We’ll be in contact with them all the time.
“We report to them, and we’re hoping people will take advantage of the chance to submit ideas so we can throw them around and make things happen – the group is there to put a face back to the SPCA.”
Wellington SPCA took over administration of the Wairarapa branch in January, and chief executive officer Steve Glassey said it was important they had people in Wairarapa that could keep them informed.
“I think it’s important we give the local community a voice.
“Some of the things we have heard from the community is that they wanted a stronger voice and stronger engagement – this was a way to encourage that dialogue and community buy-in.”
Mr Glassey said having locals who could identify opportunities in terms of sponsorship and ideas would be a great benefit.
“One thing that’s come off the bat quite early on is the existing community networks.
“For example, as of [Thursday] there is radio advertising about the inspectorate service which is the function we restored in Wairarapa.
“That’s come about through Bex at Mediaworks who arranged for that radio advertising to be sponsored.”
The group’s first formal meeting will be on January 12, and he encouraged people to get in touch before the meeting.
“If the wider community has ideas for the SPCA they can send them through by post or by email, and the advisory group will look at some of those thoughts and ideas when we first meet next year.
“It comes down to community support. The more support we get, the more services we can provide.”