2019 was filled with craziness, fun and adventure. Insulation remained our main employment stream and was very busy due to the high demand of the Warmer Kiwi Homes insulation programme. To meet this demand we recruited insulation team members in both the Taranaki and Rotorua regions. We also had a new landcare team member join the team whilst one of the team was promoted to team leader.Not only are we committed to creating employment and providing our staff with the necessary skills to provide for their whanau, but we also immerse ourselves into various community and charity initiatives. The following community initiatives have been the highlight of the year for our staff.
The community garden:
We were able to fill up the Pataka on Broadway Street, Waitara with bags of potatoes, bunches of silverbeet and courgettes from our first harvest of the year. Last year the Waitara High school students helped with weeding, planting seedlings and generally maintaining the community garden. Manukorihi Intermediate School collected recycled egg cartons and planted seedlings for the garden. We have also been blessed to have a dedicated local “Shimmy” put a huge amount of time and effort into bringing our 2020 summer crops to life.
Hapū Wānanga Taranaki:
Hapū Wānanga does amazing work in Taranaki hosting fun and interactive workshops to educate expectant parents on Māori child birth. Tawera and Sharron (Māori midwives) and Moerangi (a general practitioner) share information and skills needed to be ready for pregnancy, birth and raising tamariki. WISE has been privileged to be part of this great initiative where we share affordable and effective ways to keep homes warm and healthy with pregnant wāhine and their whanau.
Jammies in August:
A total of 140 pyjamas were donated to children in Taranaki and Rotorua this winter. WISE donated 60 packs while the rest came from Landmark Homes NZ, BabyCity New Plymouth and Steven Sole Customs. The public nominated families they thought could benefit from the drive in addition to WISE utilising their relationships with Oranga Tamariki and Taranaki Women’s Refuge, providing cosy warm pj’s to their clients.
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year but for many families this is a stressful time. The WISE staff is always ready to help where we can. WISE helped coordinate this year’s Waitara- Kai Potaka foodbank drive and had staff also participate on the day. We always find this to be a fun and interactive evening with the community coming out to support this great cause. The annual toy donation to the children’s ward is a favourite amongst staff. It’s always so amazing to see a smile on those little faces when we give out the toys.
For the first time, we also contributed 2 baskets to the Operation Blue Santa. This initiative was started in 2016 by Tu Tama Wahine and New Plymouth Police with 50 families who had contact with the Family Harm unit receiving baskets of goodies for Christmas. The goal for this year is 400 baskets to be given to these families. WISE staff members were excited to donate 2 baskets to this initiative.