Community contributes to ranking

Hard work in the bubbling metropolis of South Canterbury has contributed to New Zealand ranking at No 5 on the Good Country Index, according to locals.

The index was collated over two years and measured 125 countries on seven different categories including science and technology, world order, prosperity and equality, planet and climate, health and wellbeing, culture, international peace and security.

The purpose of the index was to portray the good things countries can do for the betterment of the world.

Aoraki Development, Business and Tourism (ADBT) chief executive Wendy Smith said Hayden Vaughan ensuring all South Canterbury schools had copies of John Kirwan's book about depression, All Blacks Don't Cry, was an example of a regional contribution. It provided an opportunity for students to approach depression and youth suicide, she said.

Smith said the campaign had gone nationwide thanks to Chevron - which has fuel tanks at PrimePort - and Westpac, purchasing books for schools.

"Who says one person can't make a difference - well, in this case, two large companies and two inspired guys.

"This is typical of the South Canterbury attitude," Smith said.

Transition Timaru media liaison Kate Elsen said the community is extremely strong and well-placed to contribute to the greater good of the world.

"There is a lot we do here.

"The South Canterbury Alzheimers Society has been recognised on a national level . . . the campaign to get the CT scanner," she said.

Elsen said young people from Timaru also go away and contribute to making the world a better place.

"They grow up feeling safe and secure and knowing they can contribute to the community.

"They take those feelings away with them into the wide world," she said.

However Elsen said South Cantabrians need to keep working towards the greater good, including working with asylum-seekers and developing green fuels.

"There is a lot more we can do. We shouldn't become complacent."

Ireland was the highest-ranked country, followed by Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Australia came in at 15, the United States at 21, while Libya was at the bottom of the rankings.

The Timaru Herald