Home' Central District Times : February 14th 2012 Contents 3
CENTRAL DISTRICT TIMES, FEBRUARY 14, 2012
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Steering Groups in Marton and Taihape have been
contracted by the Ministry of Social Development to
research what social services are being offered in the
district and to identify any barriers, gaps and
strengths within service delivery in the Rangitikei.
The aim is to develop an efficient model for social
service delivery that will improve services to families
in the district.
Cindy Gibbs, of Taihape, and Stacey Howes,
Marton are recruiting interviewees through service
providers and will be conducting their interviews
during the next couple of weeks.
The steering groups led by Elizabeth Mortland in
Taihape and Cath Ash in Marton invite users and
non-users to participate in this process. They say this
is everyone's opportunity to have a say about the
level of service provision and support within the fam-
ily and social service sectors.
''We want your feedback,'' Ms Mortland says.
''This is your opportunity to be part of shaping our
community and ensuring that it is, and continues to
be the kind of community in which you want to live.''
The research is in progress but ends on February
25, so Ms Mortland asks those interested to contact
the Taihape Community Development Trust for more
information, phone 06 388 1307.
The steering groups were formed after the Com-
munity Response Forums planning session to prog-
ress recommendations from the community, in
Utiku base for global IT help
Worldwide: Lathan Ashton and his partner Lauren Crewther-Devlin dropped into Athens
amongst other countries and cities in their travels.
By TERRY KARATAU
One would have to be a very clever
entrepreneur to be able to leave college as a
7th former and begin building up your own
business -- ''not so'', says Taihape man
While completing an agriculture course
in the 6th and 7th form of Taihape College,
Ashton took an interest in IT and did a
computer studies course by correspondence.
He says looking back the course was a bit of
a waste of time and very out-of-date. How-
ever, it came in handy because he left
school in 2001 and proceeded to trouble-
shoot and fix computers for local busi-
nesses, schools and personal computers. He
built up an extensive list of clients before
leaving four years later for Australia where
his girlfriend Lauren Crewther-Devlin
attended a performing arts school in Syd-
ney and he furthered his career in IT.
He said the move from Taihape to a huge
city was a culture shock. After a year work-
ing as a senior IT technician for Click This
Computer Consultants, he went out on his
own and provided IT support to larger Syd-
ney companies than Click This was pre-
pared to service.
As his business grew, Ashton and Lauren
moved to the Gold Coast from where he
serviced clients in Sydney, Gold Coast and
Brisbane and gathered a mass of air points.
One of his clients, a business consultant
company -- Partners in Performance,
coerced Ashton to work for them fulltime.
The company, which works virtually, got
bigger and in 2010 they opened a branch in
Dublin. Ashton and the company had no
luck recruiting a technician to open the new
office so a month later he and Lauren were
both on their way to Dublin.
Being first on the ground for the company
in Dublin, Ashton set up the business and
after 12 months when his Visa ran out the
couple decided they had done their bit and
came home to New Zealand for a while
''because we missed our mums''.
The couple have settled back into Utiku
where Ashton is still the IT systems sup-
port manager for Partners in Performance.
He connects daily with Sydney and Dub-
lin via the internet and is able to access the
companies' systems as needed. He also has
a technician in both centres.
Lauren is also keeping busy, having set
up a health and fitness business based in
Settled in: Waiouru School Ambassadors, back, from left, Mikaela Barnett,
Daniel Wylie, Lara Edmonds, front row, Holly Davis, Emma Rodger and Myah
School move complete
By TERRY KARATAU
Although the board of trustees,
staff and pupils took possession
of the new Waiouru School in the
middle of last year, the start of
2012 heralded a new beginning.
The 76 pupils and four teach-
ers have settled in to their new
surroundings, any teething prob-
lems have been ironed out and
landscaping has been done.
School principal Josie Hagger
says they now have a big push to
further develop the grounds to be
more suited to outdoor learning.
''We hope to create a Maori
To help the kids create a com-
munity garden, contact school
administrator Kerry Harding or
Mrs Hagger at the school.
Business happy hours start up again
First of year: Taihappy Hour at Awatoka (from left) John Booth,
Conrad Wong, Rachel Dean, Amanda Linsley, Martin Goodyer,
George Bodley, Elizabeth Mortland, Arian Hansen, Steve Cross, Paul
Eames, Virginia Travers and Trish Eames.
Photo Jodie Munn.
The first business forum
''Taihappy Hour'' for 2012
saw the group being taken
by Rachel Dean's Manga-
weka Shuttle to Paul and
Trish Eames' complex, just
across the bridge from the
Ground on the Rangitikei
The Eames operate
Company and also have the
lease of the Mangaweka
Mr Eames introduced his
new business venture, say-
ing that there is still a lot of
work ahead which will be
completed as time and
The complex, named
Awatoka Landing, caters
for conferences, social clubs,
sports groups and motor
Their goal is to complete
the bar/restaurant that will
host up to 80 people.
Both have been busy
landscaping and setting up
The toilet and shower
block is completed and a
spa pool has been installed.
Future plans for Awatoka
include the completion of
the accommodation blocks
which will cater for up to 24
Following a walk around,
the forum decided to con-
meetings with the host set-
ting the time. They would
like businesses to use the
new Rangitikei brochure.
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