http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/sport/5931704/Waitaki-honours-Richie-McCaw ROSA STUDHOLME 09/11/2011
All Black captain Richie McCaw has been officially notified that he had been bestowed with the Freedom of the Waitaki District.
It was decided by the Waitaki District Council that offering McCaw the honour would be a fitting way of acknowledging his success in leading the All Blacks to victory in the Rugby World Cup last month.
The district claims him as one of their own, McCaw having been born at Oamaru Hospital and raised in the Hakataramea Valley where he was educated and having played his first rugby in Kurow.
Waitaki District Mayor Alex Familton said yesterday he had been in touch with McCaw's parents who confirmed he had received the letter sent from the council.
He said formal arrangements would be left for now while McCaw rested from a big year of rugby and recovered from a foot injury, on which he has had surgery.
"When he is fit and able we may well invite him through to a council meeting and we can pay another accolade in the future," Mr Familton said.
"But we would rather at this stage take the attitude that he needs a bit of his own time."
He said the offer had been "in effect offered and accepted".
Mr Familton again commended McCaw on being role model for the country.
Discussion around what the freedom of the Waitaki District would entail was bandied about at last month's meeting. It was decided it would include invitations to community events as a distinguished guest and free access to the district's public amenities.
According to Wikipedia, the Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed on esteemed members of the community and organisations, often for service to the community.
It derives from the medieval concept of "free status", when city and town charters drew a distinction between freemen and vassals of a feudal lord.
In some cases the recipient enjoyed privileges such as the right to trade and own property.
- The Timaru Herald