Happy watching town rejuvenate

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Mataura is a small town with a big heart and watching it undergoing a rejuvenation process has got outgoing Mataura Community Development co-ordinator Jo Brand buzzing.
Miss Brand left the co-ordinator role to take up a full-time position in Invercargill, but will still act in a caretaking capacity until the Mataura position is filled.
It was always intended the role would reduce as the community took on more responsibilities itself.
Although Miss Brand had left the role, she was still living in the area and heavily involved in the community.
For Miss Brand, the depth of community spirit in the town came to the fore when the Rumble of the River fundraiser was held in Gore in 2014 and involved teams from Gore and Mataura.
The fundraiser showcased the amazing talents of those involved and the great team spirit and support from the rest of the Mataura community, she said.
“It was just so cool. It was just a real glimpse of who we are, [the way] we’ve got each others’ backs,” Ms Brand said.
She was proud of the achievements of residents and of initiatives such as the Mataura Museum redevelopment, which resulted in national and global recognition, Mataura Community Garden and Donna Burr being named Lifeguard of the Year –¬†which were only a few of the town’s many examples.