Outdated slogan to be examined

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Ashburton District Councillors will hold an open workshop with the public about replacing its old and unused “whatever it takes” slogan.

The slogan has not been in the public eye for a decade or more and billboards at the entrances to Ashburton are long gone. But the slogan occasionally still makes headlines, usually invoking a raft of not exactly complimentary comments.

Ashburton mayor Neil Brown has found himself defending his patch to out-of-town journalists this week … but all the attention also gave him a chance to point out job vacancies and highlight the district’s selling points.

Councillors met yesterday and decided it was time to officially discuss the slogan, even though it was not in use.

“Do we want one,” Cr Rodger Letham asked. “Personally, I don’t think it makes a difference. It is window dressing.”

But Cr Carolyn Cameron said a slogan or a logo would help portray the district as a vibrant place to live, learn and experience.

Cr Leen Braam suggested, tongue in cheek, the slogan could be “Ashburton, a bridge too short” – referencing the need for second bridge over the Ashburton River to move local traffic off busy State Highway 1.

Councillors agreed to “examine” the slogan at a workshop open to the public, and live-streamed, at a date in the future.

They will need to decide if the slogan is for the whole district or just Ashburton town.

Councils in the past have tackled the issue of whether the Ashburton district needs a slogan and while nothing has obviously stuck, the district is nationally recognised as an important food-producing area and welcoming community that continues to thrive.