Methven Care Trust - News


House & Garden tour set to entice

Hen Royston - Friday, September 15, 2017

Tickets for 2017's Methven & Foothills House and Garden Tour go on sale soon with the organisers promising a range fo new and exciting properties to discover.

The date to set aside is Saturday 11th November from 10am to 3.30pm.

This is the third annual House & Garden tour held to fundraise for Methven Care Trust, the group spearheading the project to replace Methven House with a new purpose-built rest home within Camrose Estate.  The aim is to allow Methven locals with the opportunity to continue to live in the community they love as they age.

Nine properties will be up for viewing - the same number as last year - with a new attraction being a cluster in the countryside around historic Barrhill Village.  Because of this vehicles are required to get around the tour.

Here's a couple of teasers to whet your appetite.

For gin drinkers, this three bedroom farmers home built five years ago will make you smile.  A painting of a Bombay Sapphire bottle of gin given as a gift to the owner was the inspiration of the blue kitchen.  Having acquired the original Methven BNZ's foyer doors prior to building, it was inevitable these would feature as a truly inspiring entrance.  Visitors will also be rewarded with assorted classic vehicles and stationary engines on display, part of the owner's private collection.

Another rural property features history detailing back to the mid 1800's but the current home was built in 1931 with evidence retained in the original leadlight glass windows and wooden panelling.  The garden consists of a formal area with buxus and rambling areas with a garden path.  The vege garden boasts roses and lavender and fruit trees on its perimeter.  A museum on site will be open on the day

Devonshire teas will be offered again by Methven House staff at one of the properties and raffles will be available so bring plenty of coins.  Volunteers are now being sough for management of the properties on the day.  Email to register your interest or phone 021 274 6657.

Tickets go on sale early October from the office at Mt Hutt Memorial Hall or by emailing  Tour maps are forwarded via email the week prior to the event.

Pictured:  Enjoying Devonshire tea in the garden at 2015 event

New Aged Care Facility - A Step Closer

Hen Royston - Monday, September 11, 2017

Allan and Alma Lochhead, who established the Lochhead Charitable Trust in 1988, wished that a 6150 square metre (one and half acre) block of land on Grace Ireland Drive, Methven, be given to the community of Methven for the establishment of a new aged care facility.

For four decades, the elderly of Methven has been cared for in Methven House, the former maternity hospital on Morgan Street. Methven House is unique in Mid-Canterbury as it is owned by the people of Methven and administered by a Committee comprised of community members.

“Forty years of care, forty years of commitment, forty years of empathy and forty years of devotion has been given to the people that have walked through the doors and made Methven House their home. That, quite frankly, is a mighty effort for a community of this size.” Said Methven Care Trust Chairperson Jo Suyker.


But now the building needs to be replaced and the Methven Care Trust was established in October 2014 to raise funds for and oversee the building of a new aged care facility.  Fundraising has begun in earnest with $5m set as the target.

Advance Ashburton, who has taken over the management of the Lochhead Charitable Trust, is delighted to fulfil the Lochhead’s wishes and transfer the land to the Methven Care Trust.

“Having the land demonstrates Methven Care Trust’s commitment for the project to the district.  Methven has a wide respect for Allan and Alma Lochhead’s philanthropy to our community and we are honoured to be the benefactors of this very generous gift”, said Jo Suyker.

On September 9th, the land valued at $470,000 was transferred to the Methven Care Trust and the new facility, which will provide a modern, sustainable and community-run residential-care home, became one big step closer.


Mrs Alma Lochhead, Trevor Croy (Chairman of Advance Ashburton Community Foundation), Joanna Suyker (MCT Chairperson), Roger Henderson and Colin Lill (MCT Trustees), John Goodwin (Lochhead Charitable Trust Trustee) on site of the planned new aged care facility in Methven.

Mini Olympics Team Challenge is on

Hen Royston - Monday, August 28, 2017

Things are getting busy for the organisers of the Methven Care Trust Mini Olympics Team Challenge, to be held Friday 13th October this year.

Neil Gubby and his partner Sandra, owners of Newzengland Clay Shooting and Archery Services at Terrace Downs had the idea for the Mini Olympics and brought it to the Methven Care Trust who were excited to get on board.

The Olympics event will run for one afternoon and requires four to a team, each participant will compete in all four sports: Clay shooting, Archery, Golf or Gumboot Throwing.  Neil says "experience isn't necessary, so to save you throwing all your gumboots over the neighbours fence, he and his team will give each player training on the day".

The fundraiser is sponsored by Mount Hutt Helicopters, another great local business keen to help with the Methven Care Trust and their new proposed Methven House building at Camrose Estate.

"We have some amazing prizes accumulating, they include some big ticket items for local and high country tourism identities", say's Neil.

Prizes will be awarded to the best themed team, top male and female individuals and the top team will also get a trophy.

Newzengland Lts is one of our local tourist focused businesses and owner Neil certainly has the skills and expertise to go with it.  As a senior instructor for 12 years at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School in England, he not only gained experience in the sport, he competed in many clay shooting competitions in the UK, including the Beretta World Championships in 1997, gaining 2nd in his class.  In his five years at Newzengland, Neil enjoys sharing and teaching his passion in one of the best locations in the world.

Neil held a lot of charity events in the UK before moving to New Zealand 14 years ago and is excited about this fundraiser with a difference, and even more, that all the profits will be going to the Methven Care Trust.

"I want to challenge local businesses, sports clubs and groups to get a team together for this entertaining and challenging day" say's Neil, "it will be an action packed afternoon where you may try something new, get to know a few other locals and end the night with great food and lots of fun".

While the event is to be held at the proposed new building site in Camrose Estate, the prize giving will be at the Blue Pub's Samuels Bar, in Methven, a spit roast dinner will be provided while the teams are awarded prizes for their efforts and enjoy a well deserved drink.

Registrations have started coming in for the Mini Olympics, so get your team together and don't miss out on this day of fun and fundraising.  The event is catering for adults 18 years and upwards and there will be up to twenty teams of four on the day.

Businesses, why not make this a unique Christmas function, or sports teams and groups - drum up some competition between yourselves and enter.

Further details contact sue 021 274 6657 or Neil 021 158 4259.



AGM Treasurers Report 2017

Hen Royston - Monday, August 14, 2017

The Methven Care Trust has had another amazing year of Fundraising. To have a surplus of $218,534, up on the previous year by nearly $40,000 is a credit to the trustees and volunteers, of this worthy local cause. 

However, the reality is that $5 million needs to be raised within 5 years to be able to complete this project, to the timeframe set. The only way this can be done is by the community believing this is a worthy cause and supporting this project.

We ask, have any of you or do you know of any members of the community that would like to see this project succeed and are prepared to donate to this cause?

Some of you may have thought about leaving a gift to a charity in your will. If this is the case, have you considered giving why you are alive – this way you get to see where and how your money is spent.  You also get 33 cents back, from the government, for every dollar you donate. This benefit is not available for donations made via your will.

We would appreciate hearing from anyone who may be interested in discussing this further.

As awkward as it is to ask for money – this is not for us, but to build a fabulous facility for our locals.

Please also be assured, that by showing an interest you will not be expected to donate, but we would love to share our vision more with anyone on an individual basis.

Also – no donation is too small -  or too big.

Thank you.

Trust benefits from Mud Plug

Hen Royston - Monday, July 03, 2017

Methven Care Trust was thrilled to accept a donation of $5,000.00 from the Mid Canterbury Four Wheel Drive Club Inc following the huge success of their Mud Plug event held on Sunday 7th May at Alford Forest.

Sunny skies on the day of event following a few wet day's prior provided the perfect mix for enthusiastic mud pluggers who challenged themselves and their vehicles around the slippery track.  Spectators were entertained with plenty of engine revving and mud roosting!

We were asked to support the event by means of providing volunteers to assist with car parking and crowd control on the day, in return for a donation, we were obviously very grateful to be considered by the club and extremely pleased with the value of the donation received.

The event also benefitted the Alford Forest Rural Fire Unit and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Pictured below is Jo Suyker (MCT Chairperson) receiving donation from Marcus Ewart on behalf of the Mid Canterbury Four Wheel Drive Club Inc

Rare opportunity to see salmon release up-close

Hen Royston - Monday, June 19, 2017


The opportunity to get up close to watch the release of young salmon is the latest fundraising event for Methven Care Trust.

The Annual Salmon Smolt Release in conjunction with Montrose Estate and Fish&Game has been organised by neighbouring Rakaia Gorge farmer Donna Field.

On Sunday 23rd July (the last day of the school holidays), thousands of salmon smolt will be released by Fish&Game to boost the salmon population in the Rakaia River.  This only happens once a year providing a unique opportunity to learn about the life cycle of one of New Zealand's most popular fish.  The 5km drive to exit Montrose Estate via adjacent Cleardale Station allows locals to get a taste of high country life and the grandeur of the gorge.

With a sausage sizzle and coffee providing refreshments, the 9am to 1pm event is definitely worth getting up early for.  The actual salmon smolt release will happen between 10am and 10.30am.  However the salmon hatchery will be open for people to look around and lots of young salmon will still be in the creek.  When the salmon are released, children and other volunteers will be given the chance to carry buckets of smolt to the creek to tip them in.

As the location requires travel over farm tracks, the experience is not suitable for low clearance cars.  Interested parties are advised to wear warm clothes and wear gumboots or boots.

Donna says the Annual Salmon Smolt Release is a follow up to her previous fundraising venture in the form of the "Rakaia Gorgeous Ball" held for six years with half the money going to Methven House.

"I've always been keen on looking after the older people in our communities and the release of the salmon smolt will be a celebratory occasion in a beautiful spot and interesting to watch."

"My favourite part of the release is watching the eels come out to eat the smolt and getting so full they can barely move.  The eels are huge and impressive fish and it is wonderful to see them."

"It is impressive that the people of our town can find the energy and enthusiasm to fund housing for the elderly.  So many older people want to stay in Methven close to family and friends rather than go to Ashburton and we are creating that opportunity.  I would like everyone to get behind the project and contribute in any way they can."

The salmon smolt release - on the last Sunday of the school holidays - will provide an unforgettable experience before school routine kicks back in.  Mark Sunday 23 July in your diary now as we'd love your support at this inaugural event.



Mini Olympics come to Methven

Hen Royston - Monday, June 12, 2017

Medal fever will hit Methven in October with the announcement of the inaugural Team Challenge Mini Olympics - a new fundraising event for Methven Care Trust.

Sponsored by Mt Hutt Helicopters 2013 Ltd and organised by Newzengland Clay Shooting and Archery Services Ltd, the event will see teams of four compete in archery, golf, clay bird shooting and gumboot throwing.

There will be prizes for the top male and female competitors, the top team, best 'themed' team and a presentation of a trophy for overall winning team.  The Mini Olympics is open to those aged 18 years and over.

Methven Care Trust fundraising co-ordinator Sue van den Heuvel says the trust was very excited when Newzengland Ltd, a local tourism company, brought the idea to them.

"Newzengland Ltd saw it as a good way to give back to the community as they run tourism activities from Terrace Downs and is keen to expose locals to their services.  And Mt Hutt Helicopters 2013 Ltd has come onboard as a sponsor to help lift the profile of this inaugural event.  The trust is very grateful to both businesses for their support.  We're now hoping locals will support it as a work outing, team building exercise or early Christmas function."

The Mini Olympics takes place Friday 13th October at the site of the proposed new resthome for Methven within Camrose Estate.

It will be an afternoon of fun competition with all profits going to Methven Care Trust, which has a goal of raising $5.5million to rebuild the resthome.  All equipment and coaching will be supplied and experience isn't necessary.

Local businesses, sports clubs and community groups are invited to register teams with intense rivalry expected.  Out of town teams will also be sought to up the stakes.

Entry into the competition includes a complimentary beer or wine and a spit roast dinner at the Blue Pub at the end of the day.  The prizegiving will also feature an auction and raffles.

Please click here for registration form and further details.

Pictured on-site at Camrose Estate Jo Suyker (MCT Chairperson), Adam Kershaw (Mt Hutt Helicopters), Neil Gubby (Newzengland Ltd)

Singing talent on show

Hen Royston - Wednesday, June 07, 2017

A suggestion from the late Ian Totty will bring a range of talented singers together in August.

A Variety Concert has been organised for Friday 11th August (new date confirmed following post phonement of original event date, 21st July) at the Mt Hutt Memorial Hall with all proceeds going to Methven Care Trust.

A talented group of ladies from Methven known as 'The Fascinating Ladies' are one of the star attractions.  Led by Methven music teacher Kate Lambarth, the ladies choir will perform classics such as 'What a wonderful world' and 'Operator' followed by some more classical pieces.

The Fascinating Ladies will join together with the Men's MSA choir on the night, which Ian Totty was a member of, to sing three songs sure to please local music buffs.  Further musical guests from the Methven area will also perform bringing locals a great night of music and talent from our wonderful town.

Tickets (which include supper) are now available at the Methven and Ashburton I-Sites and from choir members, $20 adult, $5 child.

Methven Care Trust benefits from farmers' efforts

Hen Royston - Monday, May 08, 2017

There are many unseen faces supporting the Methven Care Trust project and one of these couples is Keith and Shari Early.

The Earlys are among farmers raising weaned calves for the trust.  The take in steer or heifer calves suitable for grazing and take them through to finishing.  The process can add another $1000 in value to the animal with all proceeds going directly to the trust.  Methven Care Trust is aiming to raise $5.5million to rebuild Methven House so aged care can continue to be offered in Methven.

The Earlys currently have two steers and were involved last season in raising animals.

"We just run them with our own cattle the same age.  They get treated the same, drenched, vaccinations and so on.  For me it's a painless way to fundraise.  They're just in with the mob and with two extras you don't even notice the extra outlay," says Keith.

The Earlys have reared calves for many community organisations - St John's Presbyterian Church, Lauriston School, the local cricket and rugby clubs and Lyndhurst Reserve.  Helping out Methven Care Trust is just another good cause to support.

"It's painless as far as we're concerned because there's no cash outlay or juggling around.  The first two went to the works last spring and the funds go direct to Methven Care Trust.  So it's simple in that respect," he says.

While Keith's involvement with Methven Care Trust has been limited to this project, he understands what the trust is trying to achieve.

"I hope it's a long way off for us (needing aged care) but we can understand the concept of the whole thing and this is one way we can support it.  Rather than having to fork out $500."

Jo Suyker, Chairperson of Methven Care Trust and a member of the Dairy fundraising subcommittee, says dairy farmers kick-start the process by providing weaned calves.

"They rear them and give us anything suitable that we can place on farms to be taken through to finishing."

Six finishing farms are involved at the moment with calves on average generating around $1500 when they go to the works.

"Farmers just see this as part of their business.  And we're just really grateful to take the animals that they can provide.  We're also grateful to the finishing farms that graze them."

This is the third season Methven Care Trust has run a calf rearing programme which to date has contributed approximately $20,000 towards the fundraising target.

Pictured:  Keith Early

Time to get serious about rebuilding Methven House

Hen Royston - Thursday, April 20, 2017

Two years after the fundraising campaign for a new Methven House commenced, organisers say it’s time to get serious about putting money into the project – before the building becomes too expensive to maintain or earthquake concerns deem it unusable. 

“I took my first breath in this current building. I will not take my last in it. The building will beat me to it,” said Methven Care Trust chairperson Jo Suyker at the home’s recent 40th birthday celebrations.

In a speech to 50 invited guests, Mrs Suyker said it was a tribute to the Methven community that the town had cared for its elderly for four decades in the former maternity hospital building on Morgan Street.

“Forty years of care, 40 years of commitment, 40 years of empathy and 40 years of devotion that has been given to the people that have walked through the doors and made Methven House their home. That, quite frankly, is a mighty effort for a community of this size.”

However, another four decades won’t be possible if Methven people don’t realise what they have to lose if sufficient funds can’t be raised.

 “Methven Care Trust, along with support from the community has set a target of five years to raise $5million for the building. To put it quite bluntly, Methven Care Trust, in these initial stages has been a glorified fundraising mechanism. We are nearly two and a half years in on this project and to date have $503,000 in the bank. A little frightening you may say with half our target years gone and only 10% raised. But I am quietly confident this community will rise to the challenge, and for the sake of taking the responsibility of caring for our elderly seriously, see us over the line.”

With more than 200 people – including preschoolers and school children visiting Methven House on its 40th birthday – Mrs Suyker said it was hoped greater exposure to the home would open people’s eyes to the asset on their doorstep.

“Whilst we enjoy this day of fond memories, celebration and gratitude to those that fought and rallied against the odds to establish Methven House, we must now look forward and into the future as to how we want the next 40 plus years to evolve. Like many here today and those that have gone before us, we must now too fight and rally to create a new space to ensure the continuation of Methven House’s great legacy.”

Methven Care Trust was established in October 2014 to raise funds for and oversee the building of a new aged care facility for Methven on gifted land in Camrose Estate. The trust recently developed a pledge form that allows residents to commit to supporting the project over an agreed period of time or via a one-off donation. More details are available via the fundraising co-ordinator Sue Van den Heuvel on



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