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Bringing services to the heart of rural communities

Wednesday, September 27, 2023   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: services, Community, rural, library

Selwyn District Council media release: 25th September 2023

Selwyn residents will be the first in the country to get access to a new support service.

Long car rides into Christchurch city for He Waka Tapu and being stuck on hold to Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Inland Revenue (IR) are things Selwyn residents are likely familiar with.

Some of these barriers are now being broken down - with the launch of Heartland Services at Selwyn Libraries.

The Council is the first in New Zealand to partner with Heartland Services, an initiative funded by MSD which brings beneficial free services mainly run by central government organisations out to rural communities.

Thirty-five staff who work across Lincoln, Leeston, Darfield Libraries/service centres and Te Ara Ātea can now provide information and access to central government services for residents in a comfortable and familiar environment.

Support ranges from showing the customer where to find online forms and information to free drop-in sessions with these agencies, saving the customer a trip into Christchurch.

The first drop-in sessions with IR will take place monthly from 10am to 2pm starting:

  • Lincoln - Monday 2nd October;
  • Leeston - Tuesday 3rd October;
  • Darfield - Wednesday 25th October; and
  • Te Ara Ātea - Monday 30th October.

Community and Facility Services Executive Director Denise Kidd says Council was delighted to have Heartlands come to Selwyn.

“While still early days, the Council has been pleased at how central government agencies have been responding to Selwyn residents' enquiries and interested in the number of residents using these facilities to access the central government services.”

Mayor Sam Broughton has been a strong supporter of the initiative from the outset.

“I’m delighted that our Council was able to collaborate with MSD and help bring much needed services to the doorstep of our communities.”

With the possibility of more agencies coming on board, Selwyn residents will soon be able to access a range of free services within a short drive or walk down to their local community facility and library.