Ruapehu-Whanganui Rural Support Trust celebrates two long-term trustees
Richard Steele as he stepped down from his trustee role and Brian Doughty’s recognition in the Kings Birthday Honours.
Photo: Richard Steele
The Ruapehu-Whanganui Rural Support Trust (RWRST) had double the reason to celebrate recently, recognising the long-term contribution of Richard Steele as he stepped down from his trustee role and Brian Doughty’s recognition in the Kings Birthday Honours.
More than 15 years ago Richard Steele recognised the need for more support for Ruapehu farmers. Richard swung into action and used his Federated Farmers connections to understand the systems that had been set up in other regions, simultaneously MPI were looking to set up a network of rural support trusts. Richard had been helping farmers in need for as long as he had been farming but after the 2008 drought he recognised that the district needed a more structured group.
As a founding Trustee of the RWRST, with numerous terms as Chair, and as facilitator, Richard used his no nonsense, solution focused attitude to help numerous families and solve countless problems. He is well respected within the family of Rural Support Trusts and his experience, especially when dealing with banks, IRD, government departments and other professionals is invaluable.
The RWRST has matured over the last 15 years, and this is thanks to Richards’ pragmatism. Richard resigned as trustee to enable the Trust to continue developing and moving forward with new ideas and enthusiasm and we are grateful that we still have his talents as a facilitator to help people in need.
The trust also celebrated another founding trustee with Brian Doughty receiving the Queens Service Medal for services to rural communities and outdoor education in the Kings Birthday Honours list.
Brian has been heavily involved in numerous community groups over many years. He founded the Wanganui Tramping Club when he was 18 and has been involved ever since. He is the current president and holds a lifetime membership. He is also a founding trustee of the Four Friends Memorial Trust and current chair of the Te Araroa Whanganui Trust. He also gets an immense amount of satisfaction from his role on the board of Jigsaw Whanganui.
Brian previously worked as provincial president of Whanganui Federated Farmers and more recently has been elected to the Whanganui Rural Community Board.
Both Brian and Richard have worked tirelessly in their local communities over many years, advocating for and supporting rural businesses and families and always have farmers at heart. The Rural Support Trust is immensely grateful to Richard and Brian and many more like them all around the country who provide their time and expertise to support our rural communities.