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 DAVID CROAD, current Councillor and running again:
What role do you think Council has in supporting a thriving Marlborough region for the voluntary & community sector?
Community wellbeing is a core responsibility of Council. That being the case, Council has a role to play in ensuring community organisations / volunteers are supported well, both in-kind and financially through Community Grant facilities.
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?
I believe the obstacles are the availability of people's time and the same people are often spread across many organisations. The opportunities are better promotion of the fantastic organisations locally and the personal reward and community good that comes from volunteering.
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?
I view volunteering as a vital component of the community's wellbeing. Without volunteers, so many organisations would not function, let alone exist. As a Councillor, I see my role is to understand the needs and clearly communicate this to the community and fellow Councillors for support.
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?
Volunteers are critical to disaster response. Whilst there are core paid roles in some of the emergency organisations, many other positions are voluntary with examples being Civil Defence, Fire and Emergency, St. Johns, Rural Trust, Food Bank, etc.
How do you see Council and community organisations working together to build a robust, resilient, and welcoming region and community?
By ensuring the relevant departments are well staffed and resourced within Council and the link to community organisations is strong.
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?
I believe the Civic Awards are a great means of recognising the outstanding contributions made by volunteers in our community. As a Councillor and organisation, it would be good to have more regular contact with Volunteer Marlborough to better understand what is happening in the sector.
What impact do you perceive volunteers to have in our community? (Volunteer submitted)
The impact is enormous. As mentioned above, so many organisations would/could not operate let alone survive without people being so generous with their time.
Have you ever volunteered, and would you recommend it to others? (Volunteer submitted)
I have volunteered predominantly through school, sport, and business. I would highly recommend volunteering as the satisfaction and reward is immeasurable.
How do you think volunteers and not-for-profits could better the community even further? (Volunteer submitted)
I personally feel Marlborough is well served and supported, but possibly through encouraging more people to get involved.
In what ways do you think Volunteer Marlborough could help to improve local volunteer programmes and further support not-for-profit organisations? (Volunteer submitted)
By better promoting their services - does the community fully understand what Volunteer Marlborough does?
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)
Whilst not specifically a policy, Council, with ratepayer support needs to ensure continued allocation of community grant funding and staff time is forthcoming.
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)
Maintain as per the above with additional support possible through the better use of shared communication channels to promote the community good that comes from the voluntary and not-for-profit sector.
What message would you like to share with the volunteers of our region? (Volunteer submitted)
A huge thank you!
Thank you, David, for taking the time to answer these questions!