About Us

Our History

The Community House Mid Canterbury – a place to meet in the heart of Ashburton – is a not-for-profit community-focused facility.

Situated in a prime location in the centre of Ashburton. Community House offers a range of spaces for a variety of uses along with other ancillary services.

How does Community House operate?

The day-to-day operation of Community House, is overseen by a board of 7 trustees, all of whom volunteer their time.. The team of staff situated in Community House include an onsite Manager, Receptionist, Marketing Administrator and Accounts Administrator.

Volunteers and Funding

Further volunteers are constantly sought for a wide range of activities at the Community House.

The Community House is funded by annual grants, donations, ongoing venue hire and the community van hire as well as the occasional fundraising. We would like to thank our supporters and ongoing funders for their ongoing support of CHMC.

The History of Community House

Community House was originally started in 1995 by May Greenslade as a resource centre for non-government agencies to provide a hub for social service groups in Ashburton. CHMChas continued to grow and the demand for such a service hub warranted the appointment of a full time manager in 2002 . Prior to this it was co-ordinated by a group of volunteers.

In late 2015 CHMC Charitable Trust acquired its current building and following a full renovation and refit the new CHMC was officially opened in April at Cass Street location by the Rangitata MP and the Ministry for the Community and Volunteer sector, Jo Goodhew. She stated in her opening speech;

“This is a big day for the Ashburton Community. It’s a day that only came about because of the courage to move on”.

Community House Today

In the wake of the tragic shooting at the Ashburton Winz office on September 1st 2014 the community trust along with the support of the community saw an opportunity to turn something bad into good and purchased the building to become now the Community House. At the time they were in need of more space and could foresee a great future for the Community House in these premises. Undergoing an extensive renovation to ensure that the sad history did not remain there were numerous changes both big and small to the building that stands today.

The present day sees the hub; home to over 20 permanent tenants along with providing causal office space options, meeting rooms for hire for the community, hire of the community van along with network meetings, photocopying services and JP signing services.

Our Funders

We are indebted to our generous local businesses and supporting funders for their commitment to helping us continue to serve the Community House Mid Canterbury.

On behalf of all at CHMC, we would like to extend a very warm thank you to:

  • Lotteries Community Fund
  • Cogs (Community Organisation Grants Scheme)
  • CTMSC (Community Trust Mid South Canterbury)
  • Advance Ashburton Community Foundation
  • Lion Foundation
  • Trust Ashburton Charitable Trust
  • Somerset Ashburton Ltd

We gratefully acknowledge the support of these funding bodies who have been an integral part of the Community House throughout the years.

Our Board

We operate by a charitable trust made up of a team of voluntary board members who are committed and passionate about proving the Mid Canterbury area with the best resources possible for its local communities.

  • Dave Mathieson
    Dave Mathieson Co-Chairman and Accountant

    Dave is a born and bred Ashburtonian who went on to study at Otago University. He now splits his work time as the owner of Mathieson’s Chartered accountants and his construction business in Christchurch. He is married to Lynda and together they have 6 busy children.

    Dave is a valued member of the Community House Trust Board and has been part of the financial committee since 2013. He continues to be committed to the growth of  Community House and the staff that run it.

  • David Rush
    David Rush Insurance

    David is the founder and owner of Vision Insurance. He has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of the fire and general insurance industry. He is qualified as a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, holds a diploma of Business Studies (Insurance Management) through Massey University, and is also qualified as a Certified Insurance and Professional (CIP) and Qualified Practicing Insurance Broker (QPIB).

    David has been involved with a number of community organisations, including past chair of the Ashburton College and is a member of the property committee.

  • Natasha Wilson
    Natasha Wilson Co-Chairman and Finance

    Natasha is a born and raised Ashburtonian with 17 years in the finance industry, and currently works as a Business Banking Manager for ANZ Bank based in Ashburton. Natasha works with a wide variety of individuals and businesses which links her well within the local community. Natasha is supported by husband Hamish, who works for a local owned and operated business, and son Taylor who attends Ashburton Intermediate School.

  • Peter Melrose
    Peter Melrose Education

    Peter has been a principal at a number of schools both in Mid Canterbury and North Canterbury. Currently, he is principal at Hampstead School. Peter is a trustee of the Bowerbank Trust and Committee member of White Ribbon. He has interests in supporting community groups in Ashburton particularly those which have an impact with children.


    Henry has recently moved to Ashburton with his partner Ellen. Henry graduated from the University of Canterbury with a double degree in Law and Commerce in 2020 and has been working at Argyle Welsh Finnigan Limited since the beginning of 2021. Prior to moving to Ashburton he grew up on a farm in the Selwyn area.

    Henry has been an active participant in the community since moving, joining local sports clubs playing at both a competitive and social level.”

  • Sarah How
    Sarah How Strategy

    Having grown up on a mixed cropping farm in Mayfield, Sarah has spent the last 15 years working in the food and fibre sector both locally and abroad. Alongside her work in research and development, she is currently studying towards an MBA and is passionate about business model innovation and leveraging commerce to achieve community goals. She is supported by her husband Toby, and their two young children. 

Our Values









Our Staff

  • Jeanette Price
    Jeanette Price Reception / Finance

    Jeanette is our afternoon Receptionist at Community House as well as our Accounts Administrator. She has 30 years’ administration experience before joining the Community House team in January 2019. She is Ashburton born and bred. Her husband Chris is Fleet Coordinator for Fire and Emergency New Zealand and they have 3 adult children. Jeanette is happy to help any visitors who visit Community House.

    JESS WILSON Manager

    Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Jess has been living in Mid Canterbury since 2010 with her husband Ryan and two very active kids. She graduated from University of Essex with a BSc Hons Biological Sciences and Brunel University with a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching. After many years in the teaching profession, Jess is now passionate about leadership and community led development.

    Jess has been manager since June 2021

    “It’s an absolute pleasure to be part of the Community House team. Having the opportunity to work alongside the many kind hearted and giving people who are based within our hub is a real highlight of my role.”


  • Jess Wright
    Jess Wright Reception / Social Media

    Jess is our bright bubbly morning Receptionist at Community House as well as our social media & website star. Jess has over 15 years’ experience in the office and administration field. She was born and raised in Auckland before making the move to Ashburton in 2021. Jess is looking forward to engaging with the local community, meeting many wonderful people and hearing their stories.

Want to find out more?

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