Volunteer Marlborough (with assistance from volunteers), on behalf of the voluntary & community sector, and in conjunction with the Volunteer Centre Network of Aotearoa (VCNA) submitted a list of questions to those running for local office here in Marlborough. For consistency, effort has been made to ask the same questions of all candidates around the country.
Here, we hear from BEN MINEHAN:
What role do you think Council has in supporting a thriving Marlborough region for the voluntary & community sector?
Council should show full support for the voluntary and community sector.
What do you think are the significant obstacles and opportunities facing the Marlborough region's voluntary & community sector over the next few years? If elected, how would you address these opportunities and obstacles?
To answer this one properly would require a lot of research. Vote for me and I will look into it and come up with an answer.
How do you view volunteering in the community? i.e. Is it important? What value do volunteers bring? And, if elected, how would you personally support the voluntary & community sector in Marlborough?
Volunteering is extremely important. Volunteers bring enthusiasm to organisations at no cost. Many have specialised skill sets. If elected, I will bring a knowledge of volunteering and support the voluntary & community sector.
We've had a lot of extreme weather events around the country lately, and we are rather earthquake prone as a country. How do you see the role of volunteers as part of the disaster response locally?
Extremely important. They are often the first to provide assistance to those in need.
How do you see Council and community organisations working together to build a robust, resilient, and welcoming region and community?
By listening to the people and providing support where possible.
If you are successful in these local elections, how will you recognise and support the vital role of volunteers, volunteer-involving-organisations, and volunteer support services in the electorate? And how might you see yourself working with Volunteer Marlborough?
By acknowledging the great work volunteers do in the community. I will make contact, if I am successful, to see what I can do to help.
What impact do you perceive volunteers to have in our community? (Volunteer submitted)
Volunteers lead from the front and inspire people. Communities need volunteers.
Have you ever volunteered, and would you recommend it to others? (Volunteer submitted)
I have volunteered. I have been the Chairperson of the Okaramio Residents Association for several years and I recently finished a 3-year term as a councillor for the Nelson/Marlborough Fish and Game Council. I would recommend volunteering to others.
How do you think volunteers and not-for-profits could better the community even further? (Volunteer submitted)
By mentoring younger people to give them purpose in the community.
In what ways do you think Volunteer Marlborough could help to improve local volunteer programmes and further support not-for-profit organisations? (Volunteer submitted)
I would have to discuss this with members of the organisation.
What regional policies do you think are the most important for supporting our local organisations and volunteers in the sector so that they flourish rather than perish? (Volunteer submitted)
It is not so much about the policies. It is more about the way Council staff work to support the local organisations and volunteers in the sector. That direction needs to come from the Management.
What resources and support do you plan to implement or maintain in order to continue to develop and support the not-for-profit sector as it stands? (Volunteer submitted)
The support of the Council and its staff.
What message would you like to share with the volunteers of our region? (Volunteer submitted)
Keep up the great work! We need people to volunteer to make the community a better place.
Thank you, Ben, for taking the time to answer these questions!