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News champions; community champions

News champions; community champions
Ashburton Guardian managing editor Daryl Holden.

Thank you, Ashburton.
You’re a key reason why your Ashburton Guardian has been named the best community newspaper in New Zealand.
That title, recognising work produced in 2022, is one we’ll all wear proudly after taking home the big gong from the New Zealand Community Newspaper Association Awards in Auckland.
But we would not have managed it without you – without your support as a reader, advertiser or simply as a friend of the business, which has been around since 1879.
Without you we would simply not exist, which is something almost impossible to comprehend. I mean, who could imagine Ashburton without the Ashburton Guardian? We got together like salt and pepper, bread and butter, and bacon and eggs.
That community connection was touched on by the award judges when they called the Guardian a “caring organisation that a community newspaper should be’’.
Caring. Understanding. Supportive. That’s us, all right. We go beyond mere reporting and strive to make a positive impact.
But that doesn’t mean we ignore reporting on the tough challenges that are a part of every community’s journey. Unlike lesser publications that ignore those challenges to their detriment, we tackle them head-on. We believe in being true to the people we represent by providing authentic, reliable, and unbiased news coverage.
Our commitment to comprehensive coverage ensures our readers are well-informed and connected. We also value the trust our advertisers place in us to do it right to ensure we deliver compelling results.
It’s why we think the Ashburton Guardian’s recognition as the best community newspaper in New Zealand is testament to the strong bond that we share with you.
And perhaps we are different, as the award judges pointed out, because we do care, understand, and support our readers and advertisers.
We cover all the bases, ensuring that our community stays informed, connected, and empowered. The community newspaper awards reflected just how well we do that.

And one more thing ….

Southlanders everywhere would be feeling a little sad at the demise of their beloved H&J Smith department store.
For Invercargill, a city rich in history and tradition, news that the 120-year-old store would close would have sent shockwaves through the community because it would leave a void impossible to fill.
That’s because H&J Smith has always been a family-run business and Southland success story.
But perhaps its demise was not surprising in the midst of major department store closures nationally and internationally in recent years.
The group’s Mitre10 Mega Invercargill and Queenstown stores are unaffected, but its retail shops in Queenstown and Gore are also set to close their doors for good.
But it’s the loss of the flagship Invercargill store, and its 200-plus staff, that would cut deep. Because it was more than a store. H&J’s was an integral part of the fabric of life in Invercargill.
Its sudden end also highlights the challenges faced by smaller businesses and regional economics across the country.
H&J’s are not the first to go and they won’t be the last.

  • By Daryl  Holden