Rugby boss dots down in Ashburton

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Hamish Riach has strategic issues on his mind – and some golf – and rugby.

Mr Riach, until he began his new role at Ashburton council, was chief executive officer at the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Now he is CEO at Ashburton.

For him, it is back to the future.

Mr Riach, before working in sports administration, spent 18 years in local government, including two years running Ashburton’s neighbouring council, Selwyn.

And he spent time, too, as finance manager at the Mackenzie District Council.

In those roles, he worked with Ashburton – and now he runs it.

He started work on Monday.

He said he was aware of the big issues – a second bridge over the Ashburton, the revitalisation of the CBD, the Three Waters project, and a new administration and library project.

And he has many people to meet.

“I was always aware of Ashburton. I was tied up with athletics as a lad and recall going to the meetings in the domain. I got to know the local athletes and people from other walks of life.”

Mr Riach has bought a house in Ashburton, confesses he is not a skier, but plays “a bit of golf”.

And with Ashburton just down the highway from Christchurch, he will still be watching the Crusaders – and Mid Canterbury – play as often as he can.