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We Can Help With That Funding Recipients

Congratulations to our We Can Help With That funding recipients who continue to do outstanding things in our community.

Thank you for your contribution to our community!

2023 Recipients – Funding Round 4

Kamo Community Inc

Kamo Community Incorporated (KCi) is a volunteer-driven organisation dedicated to enhancing the Te Kamo community. Their main focus is on revitalising Te Kamo Village and its surroundings, creating a safe and attractive environment for residents. One notable project is the installation of a wheelchair-accessible picnic table near the Te Kamo War Memorial Hall, in collaboration with the Whangārei District Council. This initiative addresses a crucial gap identified through community feedback – the lack of accessible outdoor seating.

Our decision to fund KCi is rooted in their commitment to inclusivity and community well-being. The wheelchair-accessible picnic table project not only meets an immediate need but also contributes to the broader goal of creating an inviting and safe community space in Te Kamo. The project aligns well with our funds focus on providing opportunities, especially for vulnerable community members.

This initiative goes beyond physical infrastructure, representing a shared commitment to community participation, inclusivity, and environmental enhancement. It’s a practical step toward making Te Kamo a better place for everyone and our funding will play a vital role in bringing this project to fruition.

Whangārei Cat Rescue

Since establishment in 2020, the Whangārei Cat Rescue Trust has been making significant contributions to the welfare of abandoned and feral cats in urban Whangārei. With a primary emphasis on desexing initiatives, the organisation has successfully desexed an average of 350 cats annually, preventing the birth of approximately 100 unwanted kittens in spring 2022 alone.

An earlier grant from our We Can Help With That fund in 2022 facilitated a community desexing program, resulting in the desexing of 39 cats. Despite these efforts, the challenge posed by stray and feral cats in urban Whangārei persists, affecting both native wildlife and community well-being. Stray cats contribute to ecological imbalances by scavenging and predation on birds, while also posing potential health risks to both native species and humans.

In response to community requests for trapping assistance, Whangārei Cat Rescue aims to acquire 10 humane traps with our support. These traps will be made available to the community at no charge, accompanied by guidance on effective cat trapping techniques. Notably, the Whangārei District Council has generously committed to funding the desexing of all trapped cats.

This initiative is crucial for addressing the rising stray and feral cat population in urban areas, offering a proactive solution to protect native wildlife, mitigate health risks, and meet the pressing demands of the community. By bridging this infrastructure gap, Whangārei Cat Rescue’s project ensures ecological balance and contributes to the overall well-being of the community.

Parafed Northland

Parafed Northland is dedicated to enhancing the lives of Northlanders facing physical disabilities by providing exceptional sport and recreation experiences that promote enjoyment, well-being, and healthy competition. Their commitment extends to collaborating with individuals throughout the Northland community who are living with physical disabilities, ensuring their inclusion and active participation in the realm of sport and recreation. The overarching goal of Parafed Northland is to foster a community that recognises and embraces disability sports while promoting inclusive opportunities for all.

At present, Parafed Northland oversees various sport and recreation initiatives across the Northland region. Among these initiatives is the Para Swimming Development Program. Supported by existing funding covering coaching and some pool-related expenses, the We Can Help With That initiative aims to utilise funds to cover the remaining expenses relating to swim lane hire. This 12-month program is designed to provide individuals living with physical disabilities and their families with inclusive and adaptable sporting opportunities through the medium of swimming. By facilitating these opportunities, Parafed Northland strives to make a positive impact on the lives of participants, promoting not only physical well-being but also fostering a sense of community and connection.

Whangārei BMX Club

The Whangārei BMX Club has emerged as one of the leading clubs in New Zealand, experiencing significant growth in membership numbers within the rapidly expanding sport of BMX. Situated at Pohe Island, Riverside, the club boasts a 35-year history and currently accommodates over 80 riders, ranging from 3 to 50+ years of age. Families view the club as an avenue to introduce children to a structured individual sport that fosters a sense of sociability and family orientation from an early age. The club’s primary focus lies in the organisation and promotion of BMX within the region.

Recognised for its world-class facility track, the Whangārei BMX Club committee has sought funding for the repair of their riding track, which sustained severe damage from weather events in 2023 and has been unusable since April. The allocated funds will be utilised to procure two truck and trailer loads of crushed concrete, a new material tested by clubs in Auckland. This crushed concrete mix enhances the track’s drainage capabilities, preventing water from saturating the underlying brown rock beneath the surface material.

This improvement will render the venue accessible in various weather conditions, not limited to just summer and dry weather. The ability to train throughout the year will enable riders to maximise the facility, contributing to the success of local riders in national events. The advantage of training in wetter months will further strengthen the performance of both individual riders and the overall club.

Bream Head / Te Whara Conservation Trust (BHCT)

Established in 2002, the Bream Head/Te Whara Conservation Trust (BHCT) is dedicated to overseeing the ecological restoration of the Bream Head Scenic Reserve in Whangārei Heads. The aim is to cultivate a thriving environment of lush forests and melodious birdlife, offering visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature.

Emphasising the pillars of experience, education, and active participation, the Trust recently introduced a new information brochure in 2023. This brochure is specifically designed for visitors to the reserve, shedding light on the area’s significance, the Trust’s historical journey, and its vision for the future. Additionally, it guides visitors on how they can contribute to and partake in the Trust’s vision.

These informative brochures are strategically placed at the entranceways to the reserve. Such has been their success that a reprint was necessary, and we are proud to have covered these costs, ensuring they are readily available for another bustling summer season. The impact of this awareness extends beyond the reserve, showcasing the community’s dedication to the area. It fosters a sense of belonging among locals and promotes the region as an exceptional destination to both visit and live.

Hora Hora School

Hora Hora Primary School, established in 1893 as Whangārei’s second primary school and now comprising 16 classrooms, is founded on the principle of “we look after each other”. Their commitment to this ethos is evident in their wairua, influencing their problem-solving approach and dedication to mutual support. Beyond conventional academic values, the school prioritises life skills such as participation, fairness, and pride, considering them integral components of their curriculum.

The school recently sought funding to replace team shirts, worn as a symbol of unity when their tamariki represent the school. These shirts transcend mere clothing, instilling a sense of challenge, pride, and motivation, fostering unity and purpose among the students. Encouraging participation, action, exercise, and fair play, these shirts contribute significantly to the holistic development of the students – benefiting both their bodies and minds. Supporters are invited to join in backing the students on their journey of growth and camaraderie at Hora Hora Primary School.

Te Tai Tokerau U12 Girls Touch

We are proud to be supporting the Te Tai Tokerau U12 Girls Touch team, a group of 12 rangatahi selected to represent our region in three upcoming summer tournaments in Rotorua, Auckland, and Whangārei. Recognising the immense potential in our youth, we are committed to nurturing their development and providing financial support to enhance their team experience, thereby alleviating the financial burden on their families during the challenging post-Christmas and New Year period.

Participation in these events will equip the girls with invaluable skills such as teamwork, discipline, communication, commitment, and cultural awareness. We believe in exposing our tamariki to these sporting opportunities, tapping into their athletic talents, and promoting the positive aspects of playing sports. These dedicated rangatahi serve as exemplary role models for the younger generation, showcasing the rewards of hard work and commitment through their enthusiasm for weekly training sessions and love for the sporting community.

In a region abundant with hidden sporting talent but lacking adequate financial support, we aim to include our communities and provide the necessary resources for our children to thrive. This sponsorship is not just about supporting a team, it’s about giving our kids something to focus on, work towards, and emerge as winners, regardless of the outcome. We believe in the worth of our children and the positive impact that sporting experiences can have on their growth, fostering a sense of community and encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. By supporting the Te Tai Tokerau U12 Girls Touch team, we invest in a brighter future for our youth and inspire other children to strive for similar positive experiences.

Shannon Cox

Shannon Cox, a dedicated 25-year-old rower hailing from Whangārei, is on a remarkable journey to secure a spot on the podium at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Shannon’s passion for rowing ignited in 2012 at Whangārei Girls High School, setting the foundation for her impressive career.

Specialising in lightweight women’s sculling, Shannon has faced heavyweight competitors throughout her journey and emerged victorious. Notable achievements include winning the Trans-Tasman U21 Regatta in 2018 and securing a Premier National Title in the Women’s Premier Single Sculls in 2022.

In 2023, Shannon, alongside partner Jackie Kiddle, clinched victory in the Women’s Premier Double Sculls at the NZ Rowing Championship. The duo went on to represent New Zealand at the World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland, claiming a commendable 6th place in the A-Final.

Despite her achievements, Shannon faces financial challenges to sustain her rigorous training schedule leading up to the Paris Olympics. Currently relying on grants from NZ High Performance Sport and Rowing NZ, she seeks additional support to cover expenses during her full-time training at Lake Karapiro,Cambridge.

Shannon’s lightweight doubles boat is considered a strong contender for a medal in Paris. By supporting Shannon, we hope to see her realise her goal of her Olympic dream and the representation of New Zealand on the global rowing stage. Our backing will help this determined athlete focus entirely on her training and strive for gold in 2024.

2023 Recipients – Funding Round 3

Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre Incorporated

The Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre has cared for and treated thousands of birds since it was first established in 1992 by Robert and Robyn Webb who manage and run the centre with the help of a small committee of volunteers.

The centre takes in all injured birds, both native and non-native, and where possible nurses the birds back to health for release into the wild. (More than 60% of the birds that are brought into the centre are successfully released again.) It is one of the only approved kiwi rehabilitation facilities in the upper North Island and this allows birds that are sensitive to stress or eggs that require very specific conditions to be treated quickly with the least travel possible – and is entirely funded through donations and sponsorship.  In the Whangarei area, dogs are the biggest cause of kiwi deaths and injuries, followed by motor vehicles. Many of these injured kiwi end up at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre.

Approximately 10 injured kiwi that are taken care of by the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre, and an additional 6 kiwi eggs are also received by the centre each year. The kiwis need specialist veterinary care and feeding, and the eggs require incubation and rearing by experienced handlers.  A fresh kiwi egg takes approximately 75 to 80 days full time in an incubator until they hatch and will then be reared at the centre until approximately 3 months of age where they are released.  Our funding will help prioritise the care of kiwi for 2 months and ensure gold standard access to veterinary investigations and treatment while ensuring that future generations get to experience the beauty of this species.

155 Whare Āwhina Community House

The 155 Whare Kai social supermarket offers groceries to shoppers at a low cost, or even no cost, using the points system rather than a recommended retail price. Points are essentially like money, so instead of spending money, people spend points.

Social supermarkets enable people who are experiencing food insecurity to choose what they need for themselves in a supermarket-style environment – rather than collecting a pre-filled food parcel from the foodbank, that might not meet their specific needs. 155 Whare Kai is open to anyone who is in need, and pride themselves on giving much-needed dignity back to Whangarei families.  Although they mainly focus on food, there is also demand for other items such as body care, oral care and home care items, which are often out of their budget.   With deprivation at an all-time high in Northland, the organisation are always looking for ways to do more with less.

It has been a damp, wet winter and many households are wanting cleaning products to ‘spring’ clean their homes and keep their homes healthy for everyone who lives there. 155 Whare Kai approached us for funding to help facilitate their ‘Healthy Homes, Healthy Whanau’ program – which focuses on healthy and cost-effective alternatives for household chemicals. By purchasing eco-friendly cleaning products in bulk such as washing powder, dishwashing liquid, scrubbing brushes, disinfectant, oxygen bleach, white vinegar and baking soda, and providing education on how to effectively use these products for household cleaning, it gives families the opportunity to cost-effectively clean their homes to provide a healthier living environment for those that live there.

Forget Me Not Adult Day Centre (Northland Disabled Charitable Trust)

The Forget Me Not Adult Day Centre provides a day care service for adults of all ages including those who are young with disabilities, the elderly and frail, those with memory loss, head injuries and/or other disabilities. With a focus on inclusion and engagement, the centre strives to provide quality care that enhances the welfare not only of the clients but also of the carers and families and provide a range of activities for their clients to enjoy – including running regular art classes.  These classes encourage the development of fine motor skills, mental stimulation and a sense of achievement, and with so many wanting to develop their art skills we have provided additional art supplies to support this program.

Hikurangi Business Association – Community Fireworks Extravaganza

The Hikurangi Business Association (HBA) has been an integral part of the Hikurangi community for 14 years, taking the lead in initiating and executing vital projects while fostering collaborative communication among various community groups. This collaborative effort has resulted in a shared vision for the future development of Hikurangi. The HBA not only provides funding for projects aimed at improving the area but also works closely with local councils and other stakeholders to drive positive change. Additionally, they actively promote the district as an attractive place to live, work, and visit.

As part of their ongoing dedication to the community’s welfare, the HBA has organise and promoted events and initiatives that contribute to the betterment of the area. When the previous organiser of the annual Fireworks Spectacular event stepped down, the HBA stepped up to coordinate and take over the management of the event.  We are delighted to once again support them by assisting in the procurement of fireworks for their annual community fireworks extravaganza held at the Hikurangi Rugby Club, an event which successfully brings the community together for a fun, family-friendly gathering. This free, family-friendly event includes outdoor games and activities, ATV rides for children, face painting, live music, dance demonstrations, a lolly scramble and a variety of food vendors – with the local fire brigade operating a bonfire onsite – before the Firework Spectacular.

Hikurangi Mountain Lions – Hikurangi Xmas Parade & Festival

Following the resounding success of the 2020 Hikurangi Christmas Parade, the largest such event in Hikurangi in half a decade, with over 150 participants and an estimated 3,000 attendees and the following 2 events, the Hikurangi Lions have approached us once again for our assistance in making the 2023 event a memorable one. This year’s festivities are scheduled for 9 December and will feature live entertainment, street stalls reminiscent of a market, children’s amusements, and a diverse array of displays. The grand culmination of the day will be the Christmas Street Parade at noon, offering various cash prizes.

Working in close collaboration with the Hikurangi Business Association, Hikurangi Friendship House, local schools, and sports groups, the Hikurangi Lions invest unwavering dedication and hard work to ensure the event’s success. The Hikurangi Christmas Parade also presents an opportunity for local businesses to participate through market-style stalls. Joining the festivities will be local farmers showcasing their machinery, pony clubs, and bike enthusiasts. This year’s event is not only supported by funding from our We Can Help With That fund, but also directly from our agents Alex Smits and Fiona Fraser.

Northland Down Syndrome Support Group

Northland Down Syndrome Support Group provides a range of support and services for people with down syndrome, their families and supporters. Established for over 30 years, this community group are a vital support network and provide opportunities for members to get together with other families, network, socialise and access New Zealand Down Syndrome Association (NZDSA) resources. They also provide services to schools, health professionals and others who want to learn more about down syndrome. Families can often feel isolated and alone, especially for parents after a new diagnosis that their child has down syndrome. By providing these community connections and relationship building they help promote the well-being of all members.

The group have approached us for funding to help facilitate a Christmas get together for families who have a child or adult with down syndrome and other disabilities.  Being held in December this year at the Vintage Car Club Hall in Maunu’s Heritage Park, our funding will help them hire and decorate the hall, purchase food and other items, provide train rides and entertainment for those who attend.  We know this annual event is well attended with families coming from all over Northland to participate. The event is about creating memories, and the smiles on everyone’s faces say it all. This initiative is about bringing families, caregivers and supporters from the wider Northland community together. It is important for the wellbeing of the families to be able to mix with other families, to share experiences and to feel safe and secure in the environment they are in.

Rotary Club of Whangarei City Charitable Trust – 2023 Christmas ‘Magic Moments’ Food Boxes

Each year the Rotary Club of Whangarei beg and cajole in their efforts to secure donations of suitable grocery items for their Magic Moments food boxes.  Based on the Tony Robbins philosophy that ‘the secret to living is giving’, last year the team delivered over 80 hampers of food to families who fly under the radar of social services, grandparents looking after whanau, families coping with a chronically ill family member, families who have hit hard times and the women’s refuges. The value of each hamper is approx $150 of essential food items, canned product and fresh vegetables and fruit and they are delivered just prior to Christmas to those needing a helping hand.

It is a charity based principle of giving anonymously to those who are not always able to feed their families as they would like to. Magic Moments is built on a simple notion: one small act of generosity on the part of one caring person can transform the lives of many. It takes only one light to dispel the darkness and only one basket to bring hope to a family.

While many items are donated by businesses and individuals, our funding will be used to top up the boxes with other necessary and festive items that would be appreciated by the families receiving them. These hampers are prepared, packed and delivered by the club and community volunteers the Sunday morning before Christmas.

Whangarei Quarry Gardens – 25th Anniversary Garden Festival

The Whangarei Quarry Gardens are both celebrating and fundraising.  While they are inviting members of the public to come and celebrate their 25th birthday at a pre-Christmas garden festival, the unfortunate reality is that they are also needing to raise funds to rebuild many of the gardens which are still cordoned off after the slips and damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Initially putting the future of the gardens in jeopardy, the gardens have been reopened to the public, and volunteers have remained positive about the rebuild, despite the unprecedented and extensive nature of the damage.  One slip destroyed the garden which features a sculpture by artist Chris Booth. A waterfall that once cascaded into a gently flowing stream is now gone, buried under metres of clay. A bridge spanning a stream to connect gardens, and gifted by volunteers, was also destroyed. A second, larger slip took out much of the Arid Garden as well as multiple shelters that had recently been built for garden patrons.

We are proud to support the Quarry Gardens team with the rebuild, and know it will be a community effort that takes many months. So, prepare yourself for some ‘Christmas’y fun! The garden festival fundraiser itself will be a whānau-friendly, 3-day event in early December offering something for everyone, with live music, sausage sizzle, kids’ activities, plant sales, art sales, and even a Santa Grotto.

2023 Recipients – Funding Round 2

Abbeyfield House

Abbeyfield House provides supported shared housing for older people at an affordable price with an emphasis on independence, safety and inclusion. A former funding recipient, they approached us in this round to assist in developing raised vegetable gardens for their residents. The money donated will help cover the costs of restoring existing greenspaces, moving old gardens and rebuilding new raised garden beds in a different area of the village. This provides better use of the existing open spaces, promotes self-sufficiency, provides additional food and will give the elderly residents an ongoing project to work on.

Citizens Advice Bureau

The Citizens Advice Bureau Whangarei is a community-based organization that helps people to understand their rights and obligations, and gives them the support they need to take action. Their team of volunteers provide free and confidential services answering enquiries on employment, budgeting, tenancy, benefits, emergency housing and immigration as well as requests for advocates. Having volunteers who are well trained on matters of enquiry allow the Whangarei Bureau to offer the best advice and support to their clients – ensuring they receive the information or resources relevant to their needs allowing them to make the right decision for themselves and their whanau.

The Bureau’s need to keep up-to-date with evolving government and organization changes, so that the volunteers can best answer or support their clients’ needs, highlighted an opportunity to streamline training and service delivery. To facilitate this they approached us for funds to purchase a training/conference camera which will be used to run their sessions (and record their trainings to share with other members and offices) to enable them to continue offering consistent service, support and information to their customers.

The Whangarei Bureau is one of the few nationally who operate an online chat to answer any questions clients might have during work hours. Their team have continued to work from the office or home through all the difficulties our country has faced in recent years – so being able to receive training even remotely is paramount to the quality of service they offer their clients.

Kamo Intermediate School – Girls Football Team 2023

A team of 14 Kamo Intermediate School students training towards their first AIMS games tournament later this year approached us for funding.  The girls represent three different football clubs from the region – some having played for several years and others newer to the sport – and meet twice weekly for a football and fitness specific sessions. The majority of the team play club football in mixed gender teams so the opportunity to play in an all female team alongside school mates made attending this year’s AIMs games an exciting prospect while encouraging the girls to develop their resilience, social skills and confidence in a competitive football environment.

The Zespri Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools (AIMS) is one of Australasia’s largest junior sporting events, held annually in Tauranga each September. Celebrating diversity, the event provides an opportunity for 11,12 and 13 year olds from all demographics and education contexts to compete, meet others from outside their normal peer group, and to learn and build on their social skills. Initially started in 2004 with 760 athletes, AIMS is now a six day tournament with over 10,000 competitors in 25 sports. We are pleased to support the team as they fundraise to attend this event which we are sure will be a major event in their lives.

The 4C’s – Regent Community Trust

Established over 25 years ago 4C’s is a community focused group allowing the elderly, who might not have a lot of contact with others due to travel or communication restrictions, the opportunity to get together and share a meal while keeping their minds and bodies active. The program hosts various guest speakers, outings and activities while providing companionship and promoting a sense of community and belonging to the members.  Their meeting also provide opportunity to check on the welfare of their members and address other needs that may not have been met.

Our We Can Help With That funding was used to facilitate a bus trip for the members to attend the Jack Morgan Museum in Hikurangi followed by an affordable lunch.

For the Love of Dance

A local mum and active member of a local dance group approached us to assist in funding to create a local and accessible dance competition hosted by their dance troupe, For the Love of Dance.  Held at the Whangarei Theatre Company the event saw over 300 students from across Northland, who are passionate about dancing and performing, converge on Whangarei.  This gave the young Northland dancers an opportunity to demonstrate their talent, develop their skills and and helped them grow their confidence on stage.

2023 Recipients – Funding Round 1

Bream Bay Football Club

Based in Ruakaka, the Bream Bay Football Club was founded in 1974 and is the third largest club in the Whangarei region based on player numbers: 261 playing members ranging in age from 4 through to 55 years and offering footballing opportunities at all grades. To make their sport accessible for all, Bream Bay United initiated a ‘Good Fairy’ fund which extends player registration fee discounts to members who are experiencing financial hardship, or whose circumstances may mean that they are discouraged from participating in football because of the associated registration costs. With growing numbers, and increased need for financial assistance we donated to their fund so that the club can continue to offer discounts to their members – ensuring more people in the community can actively participate in the sport.

Manaia View School

Manaia View School has once again approached us for funding to assist with their Tāku Putea Kai / My Food Bag, a food technology project, for their year 8 students. The annual project aims to create confident, connected, actively involved life-long learners and focuses on teaching students about sustainability, eating seasonally, recipe modification, budgeting and understanding the importance of eating a balanced diet.

Students collaborate in groups to test and trial recipes for their ‘Food Bag’ while keeping within a strict meal plan budget. This is then assembled, with a recipe card, and students take their food bags home to cook a meal for their family. Our funds were used to help in purchasing the groceries needed – ensuring that the program could run without taking away from the classes existing, and already utilised, operational budget.

Community and collaboration are at the heart of this project – which gives students the knowledge and teaches them the skills they will need to support themselves and their families in later life.

Northland Women’s Hockey Masters

A wide-ranging group of female hockey players, 35 – 40 years of age, represented Northland at the New Zealand Masters Tournament in Mount Maunganui from 26 February to 4 March 2023. With 96 teams and nearly 2,000 participants, officials, and volunteers, it was a thrilling week of hockey that saw players from all over New Zealand come together to compete and enjoy the game they love. We were proud to support our local players, many of whom are coaching the younger generations of hockey players in our area, attend this event which was aimed at increasing player skill and promoting adult engagement in the sport.

Old Boys Marist Junior Rugby Club

Old Boys Marist is a Rugby club that sits on Pohe Island in the heart of Whangarei. The club are dedicated to the game and supporting their players to reach their full potential: as rugby players; as individuals, and; as a team. Providing the local community with rugby sport opportunities and a sense of community and belonging they actively fundraise to cover costs for their teams, but there are always shortfalls.

With the goal of keeping kids active and in sport, for both physical and mental health, the club takes pride in giving their communities something to look forward to. They have two IBM Rugby teams travelling around Northland this year, and we have stepped in to support them with teamwear so that the kids can focus on their game and continue to play with pride, confidence and a sense of belonging.

Whangarei Rowing Club

The northernmost rowing club in New Zealand, founding members of the Whangarei Rowing Club first took to the water over 100 years ago. With rowing currently enjoying unprecedented success on the domestic and international stage, the club has played its part with members achieving national titles at secondary school, club and masters levels, with a number also competing for New Zealand – and they are still going strong. – A dedicated team of 16 young rowers have been achieving great success at regional regattas, and have been training 6-days a week for the upcoming New Zealand Secondary Rowing Championship (2023 Aon Maadi Regatta) which will see over 2,000 athletes converge on Lake Karapiro for what is the pinnacle of school rowing from 25 March to 2 April 2023. The event is for many, the highlight of their rowing season. For some, it provides a starting point of their rowing journey whilst at school, whereas for others, it may be the beginning of their dream of New Zealand representation.

Supported by an excellent and dedicated team of volunteers we are also proud to support our local team on their journey to this big event, and we wish our rowers all the very best for a superb week of racing.

Squash Northland

Squash Northland approached us for funding to help facilitate their upcoming Junior Quadrangular Tournament, being hosted by the Whangarei Squash Club on the weekend of 1 and 2 April, 2023. The Junior Quadrangular Series is an age group competition between the Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Northland districts and provides an opportunity for junior players of different age groups to travel as a team, participate and represent their district in a highly competitive but also social and very rewarding competition.  While squash is primarily an individual sport this event creates opportunities for young players to come together as a team to grow their skills, and themselves in a fun, supportive and safe environment, and gives the juniors a goal to train and strive for in the months leading up to the highly anticipated event.

As this year’s hosts, Squash Northland wanted to showcase our city to their visitors and will be putting on some post-event entertainment so that all the players can socialise away from the squash courts, see a bit more of Whangarei, make new friends and have fun. It will be an opportunity for participation and connection in a safe, fun environment and we were happy to support them with this initiative.

Tai Tokerau Housing Trust

Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Charitable Trust responds to the needs of homeless adults and children by providing safe, supportive, short term housing. They have witnessed an unprecedented increase in demand for their services from whanau and single men and women who find themselves without a home – couch surfing, living in cars or on the street. People who are desperately in need of shelter and support. The causes of homelessness are many and varied – frequently out of personal control: lack of affordable accommodation; mental health issues; poverty and unemployment; addictions; emotional health and trauma; discrimination, property sales and so forth. Tai Tokerau Housing Trust sees first-hand the state of homelessness in Whangarei, and the emotional state of the people who arrive at their door needing help.

In the past they have found that providing new tenants with a simple ‘Welcome Pack’ is an excellent way to provide them with some initial basic necessities, while at the same time making them feel welcome and helping them settle into their new surroundings. As Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Charitable Trust relies heavily on external funding, they do not have funds readily available for this purpose. We are proud to support this initiative with funds to enable their team to make a number of welcome packs for new tenants who come through their doors – showing people that they are not on their own, and someone is here to help.

2022 Recipients – Funding Round 4

Mt Manaia Club

On 29 January 2023, Anniversary Weekend, the Mt Manaia Club will be holding their annual fishing competition. Run for over 20 years this is a fixture for the Whangārei Heads Community which relies on community funding, like our own, to run the event. In addition to those participating in the competition, a further 200 local students are estimated to benefit from the event proceeds which are reinvested in the local community through the support of youth clubs – including Manaia Tigers, Surf Lifesavers Nippers, Ocean Beach Junior Board Riders, Parua Bay Touch Rugby and the Manaia Club Children’s Section – who in turn support and encourage students to participate in their sport of choice.

Tiaho Trust

Tiaho Trust’s annual Ruakaka Surf Day ‘Surfs Up’ event, gives disabled youths and adults an opportunity to catch a wave in a fun, safe environment. Run for over nine years now, the Tiaho Trust have once again approached us for funding to assist with this unique event that brings abled and disabled people together to learn from each other. The Trust are anticipating 33 participants will attend the February 2023 event, and be supported by over 40 volunteers. – Through events such as these the Trust work to promote the disabled community as valued citizens who contribute, participate and add to the diversity of New Zealand society.

Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust

The Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust was established in March 2004 by singer and songwriter Hinewehi Mohi, who named it after her daughter Hineraukatauri who has severe cerebral palsy. Hineraukatauri, and thousands of other New Zealanders, have found a way to express themselves through music therapy, at the Centre named after her.

As the operator of New Zealand’s only music therapy centres, Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust’s mission is to offer a quality, accessible music therapy service to all people, whatever their needs.  Music therapy helps children experiencing long-term hospitalisations, adults with dementia, children impacted by trauma, those with developmental disabilities, and many others. At the very core of music therapy is the promotion of community wellbeing by providing the gift of communication to those who are physiologically or psychologically unable to connect.  Through music therapy, all those in need, and especially those who are most vulnerable in our society, can participate, communicate and feel a sense of belonging in their community.  Music therapy is still a relatively young practice in New Zealand, yet is widely used across the world, and therefore a large part of the Centre’s work to date has been in raising awareness and education of the field, along with its benefits, especially for children with special needs.

The Trust’s Whangārei centre, which opened in 2019, has grown from one part-time therapist to four full-time therapists serving over 300 Northlanders and has recently expanded to new premises. Over a third of the Trust’s nation-wide clients are based in Northland. We are proud to be able to support them deliver on their vision of enriching and developing lives through music by providing funding to purchase additional instruments and equipment for their Whangārei centre.

Bike Northland

Bike Northland is a registered charitable organisation focused on improving the well-being of Northlanders through increasing access to cycling and works with the community and local organisations to improve facilities and safety for cyclists.

In partnership with Sport Northland they provide cycle skills training to school children and community groups, and to date more than 7,000 people have participated in the programme in the Whangārei District.  Cycling education equips riders with the right skills to be safe and considerate out on the road giving kids skills at the right time in their life – from learning bike handling skills in primary school through to learning how to ride on-road when ready and lifting confidence and competence, especially for young people for whom bikes are often their first vehicle and a means of independence. Whilst they receive funding to deliver the training, the funds do not specifically cover the costs of bikes and associated equipment. Providing a fleet of bikes, helmets and associated equipment ensures the programme can be delivered to all students equally – irrespective of whether they have bikes or not. – so we have stepped in to support with funding for new helmets for this initiative.

Friends of the Maunu Cemetery

For several years a group of volunteers have been transforming the older portion of the Maunu Cemetery into a gardener’s delight. From planting shrubs, trees and flowers, to weeding and mulching they have beautified the area significantly making it more inviting, relaxing and respectful for families and visitors alike. – The small but active group of volunteers meet weekly at the Cemetery to maintain and extend the gardens. Although acknowledged by the Council for the work they have done, they receive no formal funding. The group have once again approached us for funds to purchase plants so that they can continue their work – this time on establishing perennial borders around the old grave sites.

Hikurangi Business Association

The Hikurangi Business Association (HBA) has been operating in Hikurangi for 14 years and been the leading group in the village in terms of picking up projects that need doing, as well as promoting collaborative communication amongst community groups which has lead to a shared vision for future development of Hikurangi.  They not only fund projects to improve the area, work collaboratively with Councils and others to facilitate change, but also actively promote the District as a favourable place to live, work, and visit.

Part of their ongoing commitment has seen them provide and promote events and projects that ultimately lead to the betterment of their community.   When the organiser of their annual Fireworks spectacular stepped aside, HBA stepped in to organise the 2022 event.  We were proud to be able to assist them with the purchase of fireworks for this event that brought the community back together again in a fun, family-friendly event.

Isabella (Bella) Anderson

A talented young local musician, Bella Anderson approached us to assist her with funding to host a Whangārei flute recital in December in collaboration with members of the Whangārei Youth Music and Sistema Whangārei – Toi Akorangi – two organisations she credits with instilling her passion for social development through music.

The free event was a celebration of her completion of a BMus (Hons) from the New Zealand School of Music, and a way to share in that with members of the Whangārei community who supported her on her journey.  As part of the event, Bella developed an educational event for Sistema, focusing on their woodwind students. She hopes the recital encourages other students with an interest in music to pursue further musical study. – This was Bella’s first time putting on a recital – a valuable learning experience enabling her to gain skills which will help her produce musical events in the future. We are confident this experience will not only assist her musical development, as she embarks on becoming a professional musician, but also benefit the wider musical community in Whangārei.

2022 Recipients – Funding Round 3

Tokotoko Solutions

Tokotoko Solutions was born of the desire to provide people with the support and skills needed to navigate their time in school, in the workforce and in life. Passionate about helping people thrive, their services centre around relationships built on mutual respect and a genuine desire to help people take control of their futures. – They offer a variety of community wellbeing programmes and initiatives including youth mentoring, alternative education, work ready programmes, parent education programmes, business start-up support, and other services based on supporting whanau wellbeing.

Many of the youth Tokotoko Solutions work alongside, are dealing with anxiety, low in confidence or self-worth, feel a lack of identity, or struggle with feeling unwanted or alone. Usually, children have a history of complex, severe trauma or have identified high needs. Many of these rangatahi are from low socioeconomic communities and have limited opportunities and resources available to them. In a face-paced modern world, many youth are predisposed to anxiety,feeling low in confidence and self-worth, lacking identity, struggling with feelings of loneliness, while Covid lockdowns have increased anxiety and mental health challenges. While the Government have also recognised that truancy and these mental health challenges are significant issues for our youth, their support packages are delivered to schools, and are not available to organisations who help those more vulnerable youth, who may not be attending school.

Through their strengths based approach, Tokotoko Solutions help these young people develop the tools to navigate their own environments and achieve success and offer a wide range of learning opportunities to their students. Understanding that their rangatahi are capable and amazing individuals who just need the right guidance and support to achieve success, they provide individual learning plans tailored to their individual physical, mental and spiritual needs. One of the ongoing needs they identified for their Awhi Ako (youth mentoring) and Tokotoko Alternative Education services is the need for their tamariki and rangatahi to reconnect with themselves, with each other and with nature which is why they approached us for funding to help them build their own ako whenua (youth gardens).

There has always been a need for people, including youth, to connect with land, food and the mindfulness that gardening and harvesting provides. Self sufficiency is an important skill. and many of their youth are from low income communities and do not get this experience outside of home. The benefits of this project to our youth are numerous, and substantial from social connectedness, mindfulness to improved nutrition. For their youth with higher needs, the textures, slowness, and outdoors adds additional benefits for overall wellbeing, while for their teenagers in their Alternative Education school, the skills can link to obtaining credits, vitally important to set youth up for future successful pathways.

Hukerenui Primary School

Hukerenui Primary School is a rural school with 160 students aged from Years 1 – 8 who take pride in their Authentic Learning programmes which incorporate beehives, alpaca’s, native bush, orchard, maize growing and lavender.

The School have recently embarked on an exciting Science Professional Learning Development journey with the providers ‘Field Based Stem’ who are all about taking the learning outdoors, and provide specialist support to enable schools to create their own local, field-based curriculum. Led by project facilitators Rudd Kleinpaste (The Bug Man) and Dr Manue Martinez, a scientist who is the director of Maunga to Moana Science the positive learning outcomes align to the school’s existing programes and will help the students work on developing knowledge of using technology to report on the learning journeys and inquiries on a scientific level.

Part of the learning for the children is the ability to use an app called ‘iNaturalist’ (a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society) which allows the students to record, identify and keep track of their encounters with creatures, plants, fungi, birds. The app also allows them to create useful data and connect with experts who can identify the organisms they observe and so much more! While the app is free, the school needed funding to purchase two iPads for the students to run the app.

The project will develop and embrace outdoor learning on a scientific level and provide development of teaching staff to implement the learning using up to date technology.

Parafed Northland

Parafed Northland enables the delivery of quality sport and recreation opportunities for Northlanders experiencing a physical disability. They work with people throughout the Northland community who live with a physical disability to see them included and involved in sport and recreation for enjoyment, good health and competition with a special focus on building skills in our young people living with disabilities and supporting societal change.

Parafed Northland has a number of sport and recreation opportunities currently operating across Northland including their On Water Sports Day at Kowharewa Bay in Tutukaka -where they provide access to a range of adaptive and inclusive sports including waka ama, stand up paddle boarding, surf ski and kayaking. Our financial assistance ensures that Parafed Northland can cover the event costs and make the day free for all participants.

Fantastic Gymnastics

Fantastic Gymnastics is a not for profit community sports club which serves the Parua Bay community and local schools. Their gymnastics club provides a hub within the Parua Bay and wider communities where children and adults come to learn life skills through the medium of gymnastics. Gymnastics forms a solid base for all sports and can help develop the physical and mental skills needed for a strong, healthy and well-balanced life.

Established in 2012 at Parua Bay School, as an after-school club their membership grew so rapidly they moved into the Parua Bay Community Centre in 2013 and had to purchase additional equipment and add to their programmes. The club then ran as a private business for 4 years offering recreational, advanced and pre-school programmes before being able to offer competitive gymnastics, and later becoming an Incorporated Society. Very much a community Club, their team of dedicated coaches and judges and committee members allow them to continue their growth and offer experiences for life in and out of the gym for all those involved.

The team approached us for funding to assist their coaches gain qualifications that are vital for their roles and to help build the skills base within their club. Funding these necessary expenses will help keep the club’s gymnasts’ fees as low as possible and help in promoting the sport as an accessible option for many young families in the area.

Whatitiri Community Centre

Built in 1920 as Whatatiri School, this beautiful wooden building became the Whatitiri Community Centre after the school’s closure in 1951 when the community negotiated with authorities to retain the building. It now provides a venue for the community to come together for classes, celebrations and events and serves a community of about 1,000 people.

The Centre is hired out to local groups and individuals for events such as meetings, workshops, pilates classes, and children’s birthday parties – creating a greater sense of community by providing a unique, local venue for activities. It is run by a small group of volunteers who hold working bees with the community assisting for the general upkeep of the hall and grounds, however the building requires a fair amount of maintenance to keep it in a state fit to be hired to the community. – Maintaining and running an old building is expensive particularly when hiring usage dropped off due to Covid restrictions, so the Centre are working on rebuilding their income streams and savings.

In order to continue servicing the needs of the community, and growing community engagement, the building must be preserved. As part of their routine maintenance, a fire inspection was completed on the building. To help the Centre reach fire safety compliance we have provided funding to source and repair several items, including a fire blanket, fire extinguisher and refill and have provided assistance with a new water pump. These items mean the Centre can continue it’s operations while minimising fire risks in the event of a fire.

Whangārei Mountain Bike Club

Mountain biking has been identified in recent years as one of the country’s biggest growth areas of recreational sports and a leading driver attributable to people’s positive mental health.

The Whangārei Mountain Bike Club (WMBC) was established in the late 1980s when suspension was unheard of and fluro lyrca was all the rage. With the goals of establishing and growing the sport in the region, helping riders connect with one another, and developing an off-road cycling community they have grown to a membership of close to 100 riders and actively maintain an ever-improving network of trails across the district.

Membership fees fund this insurance plus equipment and consumables to maintain and develop the trails, with the work completed by their active network of volunteers and club members. Events are imperative in growing the club and attracting new members – the higher the quality of the event, the bigger the growth in membership. A vital part of hosting such events is investing in the right timing gear. Currently WMBC hire timing equipment (or source extra, and multiple, volunteers to record times – which can be challenging, costly (for the club and participants) and inaccurate). Wanting to purchase their own set of timing gear to be used in for summer social racing, inter-regional events and to assist with the North-Island Secondary schools Association MTB races which they regularly host, the club approached us to assist with funding. The purchase of their own timing gear will not only reduce event costs and attract more riders but will enable them to run events at a national level with accurate times and professional results.

Ngāpuhi Ahi Rugby League Club

The Ngāpuhi Ahi Rugby League Club are a well-established Rugby League club in Northland providing tamariki in the region many opportunities and experiences in the sport nationally and internationally.  They approached us for funding to assist 65 of their tamariki (making up three teams: Under 10, Under 11 and Under 12s) attend the upcoming NZ Maori Rugby League Tamariki Tournament – which sees 86 teams come together to compete in October this year.

The children and communities have been regularly coming together to play, train, and support each other and the whole Whakawhanaungatanga is extremely important to the club. In addition to the physical and mental health benefits, the experiences and opportunities of attending and working up to these events have all been positive, with the kids already learning a lot about themselves.

We have provided funding assistance with the team’s uniforms, and we hope this helps make the trip a memorable experience for them all.

2022 Recipients – Funding Round 2

Whangārei Quarry Gardens (Sculpture Northland)

We were delighted to support Whangārei Quarry Gardens to bring you Sculpture Northland 2022! A wonderful event for art and garden lovers alike, showcasing Northland’s amazing community of artists, an amazing community garden, and the community itself.

Running from 20-29 May this year, the event featured over 100 sculptural works by 50 of Northland’s talented artists on display in their beautiful sub-tropical gardens. This annual exhibition has been running since 2008, and is a community driven project to raise funds for The Whangārei Quarry Gardens, with all proceeds going towards the running and development of gardens. Organisers calculated a whopping 2600 hours of volunteer labour went into making the 2022 event possible.

Despite the unpredictable post-Covid environment and often-inclement weather, the 2022 event saw large visitor numbers (with a total of 4,387 people through the gates) and an impressive number of art sales (with approximately $130,000 worth of artwork sold).

Whangārei Cat Rescue

Whangārei Cat Rescue is a charitable trust formed in January 2020 and run by volunteers. They rescue, rehabilitate and rehome unwanted, abandoned and homeless cats and kittens in Whangārei . With the aim of reducing the overall numbers of abandoned and feral cats on the streets, and ensuring all cats are desexed, microchipped and registered with their owners, they are in the process of developing a program to fund the desexing of cats owned by members of our community in lower socie-economic areas.

With established networks of vets, owners, volunteers, Council and SPCA and marketing and fundraising plans in place this active group of volunteers are doing wonderful work in our communities. Their work plays a vital role in the two aspects of cat management: welfare of unwanted cats themselves, and the protection of wildlife, in particular native birds, by removing the main source of depredation.

Whilst Whangārei Cat Rescue doesn’t have the financial background, they do have the systems and processes in place to achieve their common goal, and we are excited to support them in their aim of desexing up to 100 cats this financial year.

Jigsaw North

Understanding that parenting is the most important job, Jigsaw North work with parents and families to find ways that encourage and support the raising of healthy, happy and confident children. They provide much needed support for more than 450 families every year, with their wrap around services of counselling for children, parents and families, social work, family support and a range of parenting education and therapeutic programmes.

Their parenting programmes cater for the needs of children by assisting parents to gain more knowledge, skills and strategies to understand their children’s developmental and emotional needs more effectively. To reduce one of the barriers to accessing their services, they offer these programmes free to families with children aged 18 or under.

Being a not-for-profit organisation they require funding to help deliver these programmes to the local community, and we have assisted them with funds to purchase manuals for two of their primary courses: ‘Awesome Whanau’ and ‘Parenting Year’s – so they can continue to work towards their vision of creating healthy communities of thriving children and flourishing families.

Ngunguru Ripper Rugby (U7 Ngunguru Ripper Rugby)

Rippa Rugby is the new game for young rugby players. It is a very safe, non-contact, easy-to-play game for both boys and girls alike. – While the rules are simple and the game easy to learn, RipRugby promotes excellent ball handling and running skills and gives all players a chance to participate in a game similar to Rugby 7s.

Children’s health and wellbeing is an important prerequisite for their development. Engaging in sport is important for more than just physical fitness. Playing sport often means being part of a team and this allows for building skills in a whole range of areas. As well as learning all of the techniques involved in the sport, children can also develop their life skills. Playing team sports encourages cooperation and sharing, resilience, goal setting and building relationships. Learning to lose is also an important skill that’s often uncovered through playing sport.

With no Ripper Rugby available to younger kids in the Ngunguru area, some like-minded parents put the idea out to schools and to the community via social media to start up a team. Their endeavors were a success with enough kids interested to create a team for the 2021 season which has since expanded to two teams this season. Using second-hand and oversized shirts donated by Ngungunuru school, one of the parents approached us for funding for new team shirts to help the kids play with pride. We are proud to support such a grass-roots initiative showing this community’s spirit and drive – bringing local families together as coaches, managers, helpers spectators and advocates for the game while keeping the team local and eliminating unnecessary travel into town to attend other clubs.

Mangakahia Kids to AIMS Games

Several Year 8 Children representing Maungatapere and Kokopu Schools, and their local Mangakahia Squash Club, approached us for funding to get them to the 2022 AIMS Games.

AIMS Games is an inter-school sporting competition for young people across New Zealand and the wider South Pacific. Every September, many thousands of 11 to 13-year-olds gather in Tauranga to compete against their age in a variety of individual and team sports in a week-long event. The event encourages an active life, fair play, and participation across a variety of sports. This will be the first time either school has been represented at the AIMS Games, and for the students themselves, it is their first experience of a super-scale sports event – an experience they hope will become available to more students from their schools in the future.

Children’s health and wellbeing is an important prerequisite for their development, and engaging in sport is important for more than just physical fitness. Playing sport often means being part of a team and this allows for building skills in a whole range of areas. As well as learning all of the techniques involved in their sport, students can also develop their life skills including cooperation, sharing, resilience, goal setting and relationship building. – Thriving on new experiences, challenges and competition it is an opportunity for these students to gain new skills, abilities and grow, while also inspiring others to become more active and involved in sport, and we are pleased to support these students on that path.

Bream Head / Te Whara Conservation Trust (BHCT)

Bream Head/ Te Whara Conservation Trust (BHCT) was formed in 2002 to manage the ecological restoration of the Bream Head Scenic Reserve in Whangārei Heads – to create a place of healthy forest and abundant bird song, where visitors can experience nature at its best.

The story of the Trust is an inspirational one. It is the tale of a bunch of Whangārei folk who came up and ran with the audacious idea to return the pest-ridden Whangārei Heads Peninsula to its pre-European state of pristine forest. They wanted their birds back – native birds in particular – that had retreated en masse to Whangārei’s eastern offshore islands as introduced pests made nesting on the mainland an increasingly suicidal exercise.

Sir Edmund Hillary was the first patron of the Trust and flew by helicopter to an area near Urquharts Bay for this official recognition. In his honour, BHCT planted a Pohutukawa tree and erected a beautiful natural wooden seat that was engraved in dedication to him. This bench is still available for all to enjoy despite many in our community unaware of it’s cultural significance. It provides spectacular views of the Bream Head Scenic Reserve’s Mt Matariki and nearby Urqharts Bay – however, has severely degraded over time.

Operating solely through grants and donations the Trust approached us for funding for the refurbishment of this historic landmark, including an engraved plaque that would be fastened to the concrete platform that the bench sits on. We are sure that with refurbishment, the seat will continue to not only provide a beautiful coastal views and a much needed resting place, but also be a point of interest for those visiting the area, and a point of pride for the citizens of Whangārei that this iconic New Zealand hero stood as patron for the ecological restoration of our beautiful reserve – and it presents a rare opportunity to hold a community event around the re-establishment of a uniquely historical restoration project.

2022 Recipients – Funding Round 1

Ruakākā Surf Life-Saving Club Accessible Beach Chair

Aiming to make Ruakākā a fully accessible beach for all, the Ruakākā Surf Lifesaving club are in their initial stages of raising funds for a beach wheelchair.

Costing close to $8000, the chair is specifically designed for beach application with a stainless steel frame and fittings, waterproof canvas-type fabric and large low-pressure rubber wheels for manoeuvring on the sand. The chair will enable wheelchair-bound people or those unable to walk long distances or on uneven ground, a chance to experience the beach. The club have previously had to loan such wheelchairs from other clubs for events such as the annual Tiaho Trust’s Ruakākā Surf Day ‘Surfs Up’ event held at their beach.

The purchase of their own beach wheelchair ensures that those with physical disabilities can access and enjoy so much more of our beautiful coast.

SPCA Whangārei

Protecting animals across New Zealand for over 140 years, SPCA care for animals who are sick, injured, neglected, abused or simply abandoned.

The Whangārei SPCA approached us for funds to purchase a new water blaster for their Whangārei Centre. Whangārei is the main hub of SPCA’s Northland services, covering an area from the Brynderwyns across to the Kaipara Harbour, up through Dargaville to just south of Kaikohe, to Waiomio south of Kawakawa, then back across to the east coast. Around 3,000 animals are brought to their centre annually.The purchase will enable them to effectively clean the animal pens, kennels, pathways and centre more efficiently and effectively.

He Waka Eke Noa Early Learning Centre

He Waka Eke Noa Early Learning Centre is a community-based early education centre catering for ages 0-5 years in the heart of the Whangārei and situated on the Hatea Loop.

This term the centre have begun to reflect on the opportunities they offer their tamariki to connect, respect and care for our environment. Their passion to protect our environment has inspired them to sign up to the Enviroschools programme to hep them in their journey of creating a more sustainable future. – Enviroschools is an environmental action based programme where young people are empowered to design and lead sustainability projects in their schools, neighbourhoods and country.

Water is an integral part of play and learning at the centre, but also a very precious commodity. Teaching their tamaraki about water consumption and conservation has seen them catching rain in a gallon drum with a tap so water can be accessed for play and watering gardens – providing great opportunities to talk about water as a resource to be managed and conserved. Their goal is to capture even more rain water by building a simple monopitch roof over their existing sandpit (also providing great protection for the sun in the process) with spouting to feed into a catchment tank fitted with a tap for our tamariki to use and learn to regulate.

Manaia View School

Manaia View School have once again approached us for funding to assist with their Tāku Putea Kai / My Food Bag, a food technology project, for their year 8 students. The annual project aims to create confident, connected, actively involved life-long learners and focuses on teaching students about sustainability, eating seasonally, recipe modification, budgeting and understanding the importance of eating a balanced diet.

Students collaborate in groups to test and trial recipes for their ‘Food Bag’ while keeping within a strict meal plan budget. This is then assembled, with a recipe card, and students take their food bags home to cook a meal for their family. Our funds were used to help in purchasing the groceries needed – ensuring that the program could run without taking away from the classes existing, and already utilised, operational budget.

Community and collaboration are at the heart of this project – which gives them the knowledge and teaches students the skills they will need to support themselves and their families in later life.

The Blue Goose Charitable Trust – The Papermill

Established in 1989 The Papermill is a safe, vibrant, creative space where artists with intellectual disabilities create handmade paper and works of art from natural fibres and recycled paper.

They tutor both the ancient art of papermaking from recyclable paper and plant fibre as well as art and craft with paper. Papermakers that attend their creative space build self esteem, confidence and social skills allowing them to navigate their lives within our community to the best of their ability. The space also helps to break down stigma attached with intellectual disability – where visitors are able to appreciate the quality paper and art the Papermakers produce focusing on the amazing creative skills and not the disability.

Providing a safe creative environment for people within our community with intellectual disability for over 32 years, they they moved into their current premises, a renovated to purpose building at 38 Kamo Road in Kensington, in 2012.

As with most Charitable Trusts they have limited financial resources available and were extremely disheartened when in January 2022 someone stole the tools they need for boiling their plant fibres – one of the first steps in the paper making process. – The trust have approached us for support in replacing the stolen items as well as additional funds to invest in a lockable storage solution to prevent further losses in the future. This ensures that The Papermill can continue to deliver meaningful work experience for people with intellectual disabilities

Waiotira School Gardens

Waiotira is a small decile 3, rural school with a roll of 27 students. They applied for funding to help create and maintain some mara kai/Vegetable gardens. A project that aligns with all their core values: Participation, Respect, Innovation, Diligence, Empathy and Ecological Awareness – and will also support their goal of achieving a Bronze Enviro Schools Award.

Supported by another local school, Tauraroa Area School, whose Trades Academy Group have offered to build the raised garden beds, they required funding support for the purchase of plants, tools and other materials.

The School have also dedicated their ‘whanaungatanga Friday’ to be able to work together as a whole school using tuakana/teina relationships to ensure projects like the Vegetable gardens get completed – strengthening relationships, not only with the people around them but also with the environment. This project allows students see how food gets from the garden to the table, and in the future they hope it will be provide sustainable gardens that can be used to cook kai for their tamariki, with any surplus sold to our whānau and community.

Already having worked on their gardens for several years, this funding will help them get all of their tamariki outside in the fresh air and work in the gardens more often with the appropriate tools and equipment they need.

New Zealand Cable Wakeboarding Nationals 2022

The 2022 New Zealand Cable Wakeboarding Nationals are being held in Northland from 26-27 March this year at Adrenalin Adventure Park. Adrenalin Wake Park NZ Incorporated approached us for funding to help run the event… In a rare opportunity to host a national, high-performance, sporting event the organisers feel they are not only giving the Northland community the opportunity to showcase it’s best, and encouraging others to succeed, but helping to put Northland on the map.

Cable wakeboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and is simply wakeboarding while being pulled; not by a boat, but by an overhead cable ski system – combining the extreme nature of wakeboarding without the need for (or expense of) a boat. Adrenalin Adventure Park was voted by the cable wakeboarding community as the best place to host nationals. The International Wakeboard and Waterski Federation is working hard to get cable wakeboarding registered as an Olympic sport. Northland have many talented young locals that are well on their way to achieving an Olympic goal in the sport, however they need events like these to be given the opportunity to access that type of competition.

The organisers of the event are focussing on inclusivity and exposure, keeping the entry fees as low as possible in order to give the riders the best opportunities, as they strive to put on a world-class event, with great media exposure, to help elevate the awareness of the sport.

The running of this type of event comes at a price, including the need to ensure the health and safety of our competitors. With a large amount of money needing to be raised for various aspects of this event, the funds from this application will go toward the private hire and required safety management checks of the Cable itself in order to be used in such an event.

In future years the Northland Adrenalin Park is also planning on building the first full sized cable system in New Zealand – a standard to hold international events, meaning it will be one of the only sports in which Whangārei is able to hold world championships

2021 Recipients – Funding Round 4

Friends of the Maunu Cemetery

For several years a group of volunteers have been transforming the older portion of the Maunu Cemetery into a gardener’s delight. From planting shrubs, trees and flowers, to weeding and mulching they have beautified the area significantly making it more inviting, relaxing and respectful for families and visitors alike. – The small but active group of volunteers meet weekly at the Cemetery to maintain and extend the gardens. Although acknowledged by the Council for the work they have done in beautifying the Cemetery and greatly reducing the amount of spray required for maintenance, they receive no formal funding. So the group approached us for funding to purchase plants, mulch and other items which we hope will help them continue their work: valuing our region’s history, contributing to the positive aesthetics as well as providing purpose and fellowship to the volunteers themselves.

Hora Hora Playcentre

Hora Hora Playcentre, founded in 1971, is situated adjacent to Hora Hora Primary School, and remains a parent-led cooperative. Through the shared philosophy, the centre aims to provide a quality learning environment for children that supports child-initiated play and learning alongside supportive adults.  At Playcentre children do what they do best – PLAY! Playcentres offer endless opportunities for children to explore, create, jump, run, get messy and grow.

With limited toys available for their children to play with, and limited funds (much of which are dedicated to future property maintenance and improvements), the centre approached us to upgrade their outdoor play equipment – including toys for the sandpit, water based-play, and balance bikes (which they have never been able to afford) so tamariki can enjoy an even more enjoyable and enriching play environment to learn and grow in.

Sail Northland

Sail Northland Charitable Trust’s was set up to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the sport of sailing, by creating greater safety skills; to provide a professional structure and sustainable future for sail training, coaching and pathway to careers in the sport. The Trust offer sailing lessons and coaching at Parua Bay 5 days a week for all ages and have up to 160 people attend sailing over a week.  Learning to sail includes learning important life skills, and perseverance, confidence, enthusiasm, self reliance, discipline and team work are all woven into the sport of sailing. Combined, these skills enable people to be successful and valuable members of our community and workforce.

Recognising the need and value in having more team members qualified in First Aid, as well as the need to satisfy Health and Safety requirements and school holiday program legislation, the Trust approached us for financial assistance in running a group First Aid course. The costs of paying for individuals to attend individual courses is prohibitive, so instead the Trust will be running their own course at Parua Bay – allowing coaches and volunteers to obtain the skills needed at a reasonable cost… with the offer to attend extended to other local yacht clubs. This will not only enable Sail Northland to provide their lessons in a safe manner, but also assist in general first-aid upskilling within the local community.

Tauraroa Area School

Tauraroa Area School approached us to assist with their annual Conference for Children an event which brings together up to 200 students from schools who are part of Whangārei’s Kahui Ako (Community of Learning) Schools – rural Whangārei schools which include Purua, Te Horo, Pakotai, Poroti, Kokopu, Mangakahia, Tauraroa, and Waiotira.

The event is intended to to raise confidence, understanding of cultural identity and build greater connection between students and their community by teaching communication and leadership while making the transition to high school easier. Students, from Years 6-8, participate in a range of workshops with guest speakers presenting throughout the day. This years guest speakers included Kawiti Waetford, Dr Armand Sinclair and a range of other inspiring guests.

Parafed Northland

Parafed Northland enables the delivery of quality sport and recreation opportunities for Northlanders experiencing a physical disability.  They work with people throughout the Northland community who live with a physical disability to see them included and involved in sport and recreation for enjoyment, good health and competition.

Parafed Northland has a number of sport and recreation opportunities currently operating across Northland including their On Water Sports Day at Kowharewa Bay in Tutukaka -where they provide access to a range of adaptive and inclusive sports including waka ama, Stand up paddle boarding, surf ski and kayaking. Our financial assistance ensures that Parafed Northland can cover the event costs and make the day free for all participants. Additional funds in this application were made available to their Swimming Development Program for the purchase of rash shirts for their participants and coaches.

Tai Tokerau Housing Trust

Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Charitable Trust responds to the needs of homeless adults and children by providing safe, supportive, short term housing. They engage with tenants to enhance their life skills and connect them with services that enable them to move into and sustain more secure housing. Their kaupapa is based on equality and equity, seeking to ensure their whanau have the supports and tools to improve their quality of life and bridge community gaps borne from disadvantage. Providing shelter is the immediate need, but at the same time they engender transformational change designed to help whanau stand on their own, providing a better future for themselves, their tamariki, and the communities to which they belong. These additional wraparound services are provided through a dedicated social worker, budgeter and house manager who ensure long term outcomes are positive and fulfilling for families and children.

Providing transitional accommodation and support to those most vulnerable in our community can play a heavy toll on the team who have witnessed an unprecedented demand for their services from whanau, and single men and women who are without a home. For the team, housing Northland’s homeless from crisis to confidence, this seemingly never-ending demand can feel overwhelming: financially, professionally and emotionally. And unfortunately the need for emergency housing in Whangārei has increased exponentially with the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds we have donated will be used to acknowledge the work done by their team of 16 staff members, including social workers, budgeters, house managers, tenancy and property maintenance managers, as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for the work they do.

Tikipunga Community Trust

Tikipunga Community Trust, operating as TikiPride, approached us to assist with funding for the purchase of a gazebo to be used at the Tikipunga High School pool by community volunteers who assist the lifeguards onsite and ensure the pool can be used over summer by the local community. Originally built in 1988 with community funding, the pool was handed over to the School in 1999. Tikipunga Community Trust stepped in in 2015 raising the funds needed for the pool management throughout the summer, as well as a majority of the maintenance costs and have both facilitated and funded the opening of the pool to the community every summer.

Tikipunga Community Trust and its partners in this project, provide children, young people and their families, with a wonderful community facility available during the hot summer months. The swimming pool’s availability to the community gives many families a safer swimming and recreational alternative, than Otuihau/Whangārei Falls, which over the last few summers, recorded e-coli levels too high to be safe for swimming. It also enables the children and young people of the area, who don’t have easy access to the Whangārei Aquatic Centre or local beaches, with a swimming facility, which they can attend regularly and improve their water confidence and swimming skills.

Tikipunga Community Trust initiate, run and support many community services such as the Summer Safe project at Otuihau/Whangārei Falls and Whanau at the Falls community days, provide financial support to numerous sports, cultural and community groups in Tikipunga, as well as managing the funding for the pool.

Whangārei Heads First Response

We were proud to provide marketing support for the recent Whangārei Heads Garden Tour run over the weekend of 19-20 November 2021. The event offered nature lovers the opportunity to explore six unique gardens over two days while helping to save lives at the same time by raising much needed funds for a new First Response Vehicle for the Whangārei Heads community.

The Whangārei Heads Volunteer Fire Brigade is a dedicated medical responder brigade – trained to be first responders to medical events. With sixty percent of emergencies in the area being medical, the existing response crew are required to dress in full fire gear, drive to the site in their fire truck, and often then find they are unable to get to the property due to access issues. A new First Response Medical and General Fire Support 4×4 utility vehicle will help the Whangārei Heads Volunteer Fire Brigade respond more efficiently to the community across all terrains. With 637 tickets sold, and through the sales of plants and other donated items, over $25,500 was raised in support of the initiative and the community are one step closer to securing the much needed vehicle (and extend their station to house it).

2021 Recipients – Funding Round 3

Tiaho Trust

The only event of it’s kind in Whangārei, the Tiaho Trust’s Ruakaka Surf Day ‘Surfs Up’ event, gives disabled youths and adults an opportunity to catch a wave in a fun, safe environment. Now in it’s eighth year this popular event is always at capacity, and the next event has now been scheduled for February 2022. In order to keep this event free for participants, and to support with the transfer of specialist equipment, the Tiaho Trust approached us for funding .  This unique event that brings enabled and disabled people together to learn from each other. Through events such as these the Tiaho work to promote the disabled community as valued citizens who contribute, participate and add to the diversity of New Zealand society.

Tiaho Trust aims to significantly contribute to the New Zealand Disability Strategy’s vision of ‘A society that highly values the lives and continually enhances the full participation of disabled people’ by positioning themselves as the leading proactive disability led organisation in Tai Tokerau from which the community can obtain expert advice and support.

Hikurangi Lions

After the success of the 2020 Hikurangi Christmas Parade, the largest that Hikurangi has seen in 5 years with over 150 people taking part and an estimated 3,000 in attendance, the Hikurangi Lions approached us to again assist with the 2021 event- which is scheduled for 11 December and will include live entertainment, market-style street stalls, children’s entertainment and various displays culminating in the Christmas Street Parade at 12 noon with a range of cash-prizes up for grabs.

In collaboration with the Hikurangi Business Association, Hikurangi Friendship House, Schools and Sporting groups the Hikurangi Lions work tirelessly, with dedication and hard work, to ensure a successful event.  The Hikurangi Christmas Parade also offers a chance for local businesses to get involved through market day stalls  – and will be joined by local farmers showing their machinery, Pony clubs and local bike enthusiasts With this years’ theme: ‘Bringing Communities Together’ and in collaboration with the Whangārei Agricultural Day organisers, the 2021 event promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Ngunguru Community

Led by Murray Coop and Peter Vink, our Ray White Tutukaka team members consulted with Council and the community on the effects of the large flame tree blocking the river by the one-lane bridge in Ngunguru and approached us for help.

After a large Flame Tree fell into the river near the bridge, home owners upriver were nervous about it causing a blockage to the tidal flow and the potential it may cause for flooding.  Our team liaised with Whangārei District Council and Northland Regional Council on the matter who agreed that a community initiative to remove the trees was permissible. Our Ray White Tutukaka team have since been in touch with the necessary local contractors needed to remove the blockage, and attend to the fallen tree as well as two others that could become a potential issue.

(To also support the local contractors who have stepped in to assist, by way of heavily discounted fees, we also hope to feature their work and acknowledge their involvement, in the next edition of our Ngunguru Community Newsletter.)

Sistema Whangārei Toi Akorangi

Sistema Whangārei is a non-profit organisation committed to improving the lives of children through learning to play music.

Sistema Whangārei Toi Akorangi is known for excellence and innovation in training, education, employment and their stand for children’s rights.  Their goals are to strengthen the spirit, and foster making positive choices, creating an environment where “anything is possible” for ‘self’ and for ‘others’. They do this by providing a range of musical programmes to children in our community – so that their experience as they are growing up is one of a ‘sense of place’ and a passion for life and music. However, with their program growing exponentially one drawback is they simply do not have enough instruments so they approached us to assist with the purchase of three new full-sized violins to add to their resources.

2021 Recipients – Funding Round 2

Abbeyfield House

Abbeyfield house provides supported shared housing for older people at an affordable price.  They approached us for funds to purchase a new communal use washing machine for the residents to use to help ensure residents can maintain their independence while still being part of a safe, affordable, inclusive community and enjoying the company of others.

Abbeyfield New Zealand is a registered charity and a registered Community Housing Provider with 14 houses throughout New Zealand they provide a home to 161 residents and are part of an international Abbeyfield network which started in the UK in the 1950s.

Ngunguru Football Club

Ngunguru Football Club plays an important role in the local community. They are the only sports club on the Tutukaka Coast providing opportunities to children and youth to participate in a team environment. With close ties to the local primary school and early childhood education center, the club has recently expanded to include two senior teams – allowing children to now play with the club from the age of four right through to senior level.

Due to club growth, and without small inadequate storage space onsite at the Ngunguru Sports Complex, from which they operate, the Club approached us for funding to help purchase a larger storage shed.

The new shed will allow them to run the club more efficiently by having equipment housed onsite, accessible and also keep junior goals and other club gear safe during the off season. It also helps keep fees at an affordable level for all.

They are a small community club working hard to make sure that children of all ages have access to the benefits that come from taking part in a team sport.

Old Girls Hockey Club

A social grade hockey team, representing a range of ages, the Old Girls first division women’s hockey team approached us to help with upgrading their sporting equipment. The funding will be used to purchase replacement items so the team can continue to train and support the development of younger players through the grades.

The club are currently in a rebuilding phase, and have an excited team with quite a few young players.  Understanding that it can be hard to source funding outside of the premier grades, we were happy to assist – so that the team can continue to focus on supporting and developing their players in a fun, supportive learning environment. to keep their passion alive.

Whangārei Toy Library (Regent Community Trust)

Whangārei Community Toy Library provides an affordable toy lending service to Whangārei families. Run by a team of volunteers, the toy library receives no guaranteed funding form local nor national agencies and the operating costs of the Toy Library are unable to be met through fundraising alone. Understanding that membership fees should be kept to a minimum , to ensure as many families as possible can experience quality play though an up-to-date and extensive selection of toys and equipment.

This year we helped the Toy Library with the hardware requirements needed to get work with their new  online toy management system. This new system will allow parents to better select toys for their child’s developmental milestone; help volunteers manage inventory, day-to-day management and help ensure the efficient smooth running of the Toy Library for volunteers and families alike.

Waiotira School

Waiotira School is situated in a picturesque rural setting, 34km south west of Whangārei . It is a small country school serving the local farming community and lifestyle blocks and provides a high quality education for students from year 0 – 6. For over 88 years the School has offered children a superb all-round education, with provision of opportunities to pursue excellence in academic, sporting and cultural activities.

The School approached us for funding in 2020 to support their senior students travel to Wellington – to further expand their social and cultural education. Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions their trip had to be postponed, and the School reapplied for funding in this round. The trip provides opportunities to celebrate diversity and presents students with opportunities and cultural experiences that they do not encounter at home. All activities are carefully selected to ensure a broad, high-quality educational programme which has proven to be an opportunity for huge personal growth for previous students.  An exercise which focuses on people, places and participation we are sure that this experience is creating cultural and social education that will broaden their horizons in the long term.

Kaurihohore Public Hall Society Incorporated

Kaurihohore Public Hall is now close to 150 years old and is undergoing significant repairs to ensure it remains fit for purpose. The arrival of Nova Scotian Scots in 1856 and 1860 became the foundation of a thriving pioneer settlement, and it was these men and women who got together to plan and build the hall. Since completion in 1876 the hall has been an important part of the district – locals remember many wonderful occasions held in it over the years and we are very pleased to be able to help preserve our unique heritage for the generations to come. Interestingly, some of the existing hall committee members are descendants of the original settlers.

The hall caters for events which engage people of all ethnicities and ages and is a significant part of the hub of the local community – providing space for both locals and visitors to enjoy a multitude of occasions such as weddings, funerals, birthday parties, school events, market places, exercise classes and community meeting place.  We hope that our contribution to assist in the exterior renovations of the Hall will ensure that this community hub continues to bring the community together for many more years to come.

Kamo Intermediate School

The Kamo Intermediate Boys Football Team, made up of a squad of 12 boys, approached us for funding to get them to the 2021 AIMS Games.

AIMS Games is an inter-school sporting competition for young sportspeople across New Zealand and the wider South Pacific. Every September, many thousands of 11 to 13-year-olds gather in Tauranga to compete against their age in a variety of individual and team sports in a week-long event. For many, this is their first experience of a super-scale sports event, complete with an opening ceremony, professional livestream coverage and world-class facilities. The event encourages an active life, fair play, and participation across a variety of sports. Many professional Kiwi athletes have come through the Games on their way to specialisation and achievement on the world stage, and we were pleased to support the Kamo Intermediate Boys Football Team attend this event in what we are sure will be a major event in the lives of these young boys.

For most in the team, it will be their first experience of a super-scale sports event, complete with an opening ceremony, professional livestream coverage and world-class facilities. It will provide a fantastic opportunity to learn the skills of winning and losing with dignity, educating them in the importance of the positive affirmation of team members, fellow competitors, officials and supporters – as well as being a whole lot of fun! – Investing in opportunities like these for our young adolescents is also an investment in our community. The experience and lessons will help build more rounded, resilient and confident young people which is a great platform for them to grow and contribute as adults to our community.

2021 Recipients – Funding Round 1

Manaia View School

The school approached us for funding to assist with their Tāku Putea Kai / My Food Bag, a food technology project, for their year 8 students. The project aims to create confident, connected, actively involved life-long learners and focuses on teaching students about sustainability, eating seasonally, recipe modification, budgeting and understanding the importance of eating a balanced diet.

Students collaborate in groups to test and trial recipes for their ‘Food Bag’ while keeping within a strict meal plan budget. This is then assembled, with a recipe card, and students take their food bags home to cook a meal for their family.  Our funds were used to help in purchasing the groceries needed – ensuring that the program could run without taking away from the classes existing, and already utilised, operational budget.

Community and collaboration are at the heart of this project – which gives them the knowledge and teaches students the skills they will need to support themselves and their families in later life.

Kamo Intermediate School

Kamo Intermediate started delivering Ruautakauri Music Therapy sessions in Term 4, 2020 – promoting wellbeing for students identified as having intellectual, physical and social challenges and the success to date has been profound.

Music therapy is the planned use of music to assist in the healing and growth of people with emotional, intellectual, physical or social challenges. Raukatauri Music therapy is delivered by Registered Music Therapists via a clinical practice rooted in the humanistic model of music therapy which recognizes each individual’s uniqueness and worth.

The school requested funding to ensure this program could continue to enrich the lives of students who live with severe challenges to inclusion and acceptance – allowing them to express their creativity, inspire confidence, develop independence and create meaningful relationships.

Whangārei Girls High School

We were approached to support a group of Whangārei Girls High School Students attend the Auckland Model United Nations. Held annually at the University of Auckland, the Auckland Model United Nations is one of the country’s largest civics education events, attracting more than 500 young people. This event includes workshops, panels and simulation Model UN’s where participants will learn about the structures within the UN and local government, prompting our participants to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills. A tool for social mobility, it reminds and educates young people of their ability to enact change and incessantly strive to push for sustainable social development – especially in a global context. This event aims to inspire secondary students to think globally but act locally, prompting positive social impact on our communities.

These young people are clearly incredibly passionate about civics, social justice and are already demonstrating their ability to drive social change – we have no doubt that they will take all of their experiences and learning from AMUN and use it to support their community.

2020 Recipients – Funding Round 4

Totara Grove School

Totara Grove School approached us to assist in the purchase of scooters and skateboards so students could use their newly installed scooter track. Totara Grove School is a primary school with fourteen classes of students from Years 0-6 and is situated between the suburbs of Kamo and Tikipunga. A sense of whanau and community is a strength of the school who provide a nurturing, supportive learning environment, empowering and encouraging our students to develop self-management skills and take responsibility for their own learning. The school encourages students to look after each other and to be respectful, responsible and safe in their learning and actions.  These scooters and skateboards will be used to encourage active participation, while the students will also be able to learn valuable social skills like sharing, and working cooperatively.

Parafed Northland

Parafed Northland exists so that Northlanders living with a physical disability can experience quality sport and recreation opportunities for fun, good health and competition nd want to work with people throughout the Northland community who live with a physical disability to see them included and involved in sport and recreation. They also wish to raise the awareness of disability sports and inclusive sport and recreation opportunities within the community.

Parafed Northland has a number of sport and recreation opportunities currently operating across Northland. One of these is a Para Swimming Development Program, which has just been launched. With coaching and lane hire already covered through other funding, We Can Help With That funds will be used to purchase kickboards and cover other program costs for this 12 month program which benefits those  living with a physical disability and their families by offering inclusive, adaptable sporting opportunities through swimming.

Tiaho Trust

The only event of it’s kind in Whangārei, the Tiaho Trust’s Ruakaka Surf Day ‘Surfs Up’ event, gives disabled youths and adults an opportunity to catch a wave in a fun, safe environment. Now in it’s seventh year this popular event is always at capacity, and the next event has now been scheduled for February 2021. In order to keep this event free for participants, and to support with the transfer of specialist equipment, the Tiaho Trust approached us for funding .  This unique event that brings enabled and disabled people together to learn from each other. Through events such as these the Tiaho work to promote the disabled community as valued citizens who contribute, participate and add to the diversity of New Zealand society.

Tiaho Trust aims to significantly contribute to the New Zealand Disability Strategy’s vision of ‘A society that highly values the lives and continually enhances the full participation of disabled people’ by positioning themselves as the leading proactive disability led organisation in Tai Tokerau from which the community can obtain expert advice and support.

SANZ Shackleton Sea Scouts

An affiliated member of the Scout Association of New Zealand, located on Riverside Drive Shackleton Sea Scouts was established in 1956 and is the only scouting group within the Whangārei District that provides both sea-based and land-based activities. Approximately 75 children attend the club and unfortunately the water boiler, situated in the club kitchen, has become a safety issue. No longer able to be repaired this requires replacement so the club approached us for funding support.

Scouting is a worldwide movement with over 32 million members in 160 countries. There is the philosophy of learning by doing, with emphasis on outdoor activities such as tramping, skiing, and kayaking. Scouts are considered to work in teams (patrols), take considered risks and think for themselves.  The mission of scouting is to contribute to the education of young people through a value system to help build a better place in the world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society – this is achieved by involving them throughout their formative years in non-formal learning using methods that make each individual the principal agent in his or her own development as a self-reliant, supportive, responsible and committed person.

Whangārei Hospital Surgical Wards

Each year a small but dedicated team take the day to decorate both the Whangārei Hospital Surgical Wards with Christmas decorations. To-date this has been a self-funded initiative driven by a small team who fundraise internally, but this year the Ward Clerk approached us to support with a small donation for decorations – replacing some that have been in use for over 20 years. Having to attend hospital over the busy Christmas season can be very challenging and lonely, and unfortunately both wards remain extremely busy over the holiday season. Wanting to lift the spirits of patients, family members and staff the dedicated surgical team of Wards 3 and 4 take a day out decorating the hallways to ensure Christmas is special for all.

I Have A Dream

The I Have A Dream Charitable Trust aims to inspire Kiwi kids growing up in material hardship to navigate their own path to academic and life success, and creating positive role models who add value to their communities.

The Trust partners with low decile schools in low income communities and works alongside students, between the ages of 8 and 20, across all areas of life: including leadership, community participation, sports, and quality of life – to give them the life skills and academic support they need to succeed and guide them on a journey to success. Bridging the gap between the world of family and school to help students succeed, the program provides intensive tutoring and mentorship, working alongside students from the first day of school through to two years into tertiary education or employment. The mentors have a formal relationship with the participating schools, engage with the children’s parents, families and communities, and provide services for kids that give them the life skills and academic support they need to succeed.

Currently working with four lower decile schools and with over 900 children on the program, I Have A Dream are planning on providing large holiday programs for their students over the long January holiday break. The programs will provide a mix of fun and academic activities both onsite at at a partner schools as well as locations throughout the region such as Maraes, local breaches and sports complexes – providing families and children by providing them positive activities and opportunities to get away from home and screens. We are proud to be supporting this initiative through transport and food costs.

Mt Manaia Club

On 31 January 2021, Anniversary Weekend, the Mt Manaia Club will be holding their annual fishing competition. Run for over 20 years this is fixture for the Whangārei Heads Community. All the money raised from this competition is reinvested in the local community through the support of youth clubs – including Manaia Tigers, Surf Lifesavers Nippers, Ocean Beach Junior Board Riders, Parua Bay Touch Rugby and the Manaia Club Children’s Section. These not-for-profit organisations rely solely on donations to help the local community and the We Can Help With That funding will be used to support the event with any proceeds going directly to the clubs.

2020 Recipients – Funding Round 3

Pataua Outdoor Education & Recreation Trust

Operating since 1980, from grounds of the former Pataua School, the Pataua Outdoor Education and Recreation Trust (POERT) is a charitable trust offering a self-catering school camp facility for education outside the classroom, primarily to educational organisations and groups wanting to experience Northlands east coast.

With the aim to “provide outdoor education and character training – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – for all boys, girls, adolescents and young men and women or any other interested person whether residing or attending school in the Northland district or elsewhere within New Zealand” the Board of Trustees has managed and been responsible for the use of the grounds and it’s various building which include a kitchen/shower complex, a half-round barn, accommodation facilities, a toilet block plus an old school building acquired from Auckland, literally barged onto its current site in 1983, and its classrooms which were converted into the current Community Hall.

The Trust grounds and buildings have evolved over the years to become the central hub of the community – used for Gala Days, sports events, fundraisers, social occasions, etc – in addition to its primary function as a centre where locals and visitors acquire or improve skills and confidence in outdoor pursuits.

Demand for use of the Trust’s facilities is now very high – to the point that it will soon be unable to cope. Although the overall plan is to further develop the site to give Pataua a unique recreational and learning environment in a new all-weather facility, the Trust approached us to support them with the purchase of wet-paint for their shower block which was used at their working-bee to help in keeping the current facility operational.

Mt Manaia Bowling Club

Mt. Manaia Bowling Club, situated in Parua Bay, is a non-profit club belonging to the New Zealand Charities Commission and affiliated to Bowls New Zealand and Bowls Northland. The club is family focused with a culture that welcomes all ages, and plays an important part in the Whangārei Heads community.

Promoting community involvement and connection the club provides opportunities for recreation and sporting activities for all ages. The community spirit which saw 100 founding members bring the club to fruition in the late 1980s continues to live on.  The establishment of this rural club was a great achievement in terms of planning and community involvement, and the spirit lives on through years of fundraising, grant acquisition, determination and teamwork.  Throughout the year they host non-bowling events in their licensed clubhouse to help with fundraising and support the local community.

Seeking to eliminate a significant health and safety risk for players and visitors the club approached us to assist in the replacement of rink numbers and boundary markers.  The purchase was needed to manage the risks to all those using the facility, ensuring the club continues to provide an excellent, and safe, venue in the local community for years to come.

Whangārei Garden Discovery Trust

The Whangārei Garden Discovery Trust approached us to support them with their biannual Garden Discovery being run in November 2020. This community fundraiser for the Quarry Gardens was almost cancelled due to drought, then Covid-19, but their dedicated events team decided it was the perfect opportunity to give back and celebrate the community spirit that is at the heart of the Quarry Gardens – giving Whangārei people the opportunity to enjoy our relative freedom and quite literally explore our own backyards (17 of which are being represented at this year’s event).

Whangārei Quarry Gardens is a community garden project created by volunteers in the remnants of a former stone quarry in the forested western hills of Whangārei City and is a real asset to the community. With the ongoing support of Whangārei District Council, Community Employment Groups and many loyal sponsors and friends, the once dilapidated quarry site has become a subtropical oasis and is a powerful example of the strength of a community that cares for their environment.

Titoki Playcentre

Titoki Playcentre are part of a 400+ strong network of Playcentres across New Zealand where parents can engage in their childrens’ learning through play – fostering the involvement of whānau through early childhood education.

Opting to not charge parents fees for attendance, the Titoki Playcentre rely primarily on Government funding and grants to remain operational. It was the volunteers who run the centre who approached us to purchase a wooden set of marae and pa buildings – an interactive resource to encourage the use of Te Reo and Te Ao Māori through play. Understanding that children learn and develop best when their culture, knowledge and community are affirmed through play, these New Zealand made, hand-crafted taonga are a perfect resource for their centre to further enhance the Te Ao Maori resources available – ensuring that their children have access to items that are related to culture and identity to further aid a sense of belonging.

Whangārei BMX Club

BMX is a fast-growing sport, and Whangārei are now one of the leading clubs in New Zealand in terms of membership numbers and growth.  Located at Pohe Island, Riverside, Whangārei BMX Club has been running for over 35 years and has a current membership of over 80 riders ranging in ages from 3-50+ years of age. Families see it as a way to get kids into a structured individual sport that from a young age is very social and family orientated, and the Club’s focus is on organizing and promoting the sport within the region.

With a world-class facility-track-wise, the committee approached us for funding to help upgrade their club canteen – which has never been upgraded, but provides a small amount of revenue for the club and is an important facility for them.

Whananaki School Board

So excited by their new Pump Track, the Whananaki School Board approached us for funding to purchase scooters and helmets for their students. – A pump track is a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designs to be ridden on by scooters, bikes and skateboards – great for skills development, excercise and camaraderie. The track provides a hub for the isolated community – promoting physical fitness, participation and connection, and the purchase of the scooters will allow more kids to get involved, learn new skills, get fit and have fun – helping the children progress and develop with confidence.

Whananaki School is set on the idyllic east coast, 45 minutes north-east of Whangārei.  A Decile 4 school with three classrooms, catering to students up to Year 8 they have a developing community and a roll of just over 50 students, the school really is at the heart of this isolated community – and the new track will become a social hub of activity and interaction… a real asset to their community.  Actively fundraising to provide opportunities for their students to progress, and being big believers in providing equal opportunities for all their students, the School Board realised that not everyone had access to the necessary equipment to enjoy the new infrastructure, and so approached us to assist them with the purchase of these items which would stay on school premises.

Ngunguru Bowling Club

The Ngunguru Bowling Club serves as a focal point for the Tutukaka Coast community. Membership is currently at 40, and members are drawn from as far North as Matapouri and as far south as Whangārei – with their tournaments drawing entrants from across the Northland region.  The club serves as both a playing facility and a socially interactive meeting place – where friendships are formed and community spirit is developed.

The artificial turf used for the green requires ongoing maintenance in order to prolong its life. While new artificial greens can cost upwards of $300,000 (which is seen as an existential threat to the longevity of many bowling greens across our county) it is imperative to prolong the life of a green to maximise the greens use and avoid unnecessary costs.  This is why the club approached us to support them with the purchase of a mechanical grooming machine which can be used by all members to help keep the green meticulously clean and prolong its life by minimising wear on the artificial surface. We are confident our purchase will help them use the facility for many years to come.

Kamo Primary School

Kamo Primary School’s funding is spread across 21 classrooms and over 500 students.  Each and every day the teachers strive to give their students the best education and experiences possible – despite their background and personal circumstances. To ensure that once they leave school they are able to pursue any opportunity they wish – regardless of where they came from. The school approached us for funds to purchase learning support resources for students who require additional support with their understanding of phonetics and letter sounds – the foundation for success in spelling, reading and writing.

To ensure that all students are given the skills to succeed at school, and beyond, we assisted the school with the purchase of a Targeted Literacy Intervention Project (The Code and Little Learner readers). These are evidence based and scientifically researched New Zealand developed resources for improving the outcomes for all students through effective teaching focusing on reading and spelling, and equip teachers with the knowledge and ability to deliver an effective, sound and quality literacy program where all students are monitored and taught for their specific needs and goals. – Knowing that where there is success, there is passion and where there is passion there is drive we believe the future is limitless and these resources will ensure that the teachers can put their skills straight to use and assist students to develop not only their reading and writing but also their confidence – enabling them to achieve to their fullest potential and set them up for greatness.

Ngunguru Football Club

Established over 30 years ago, Ngunguru Football Club has worked tirelessly to expand their club over recent times – growing it to a membership of over 170 people – with two senior teams, two youth teams and five junior teams  while still being run by a volunteer group of coaches, managers and committee members.

The club owned four junior football goals which are used every Saturday for competition matches. These goals were all in a poor state, so in 2018 the Club committed to replacing one per season (due to the cost).  Unfortunately this season has been severely disrupted by Covid-19, and while the club have been able to meet all the health and safety requirements to stay operational and keep playing, it meant there were insufficient funds left to purchase the last remaining goal.  (Fundraising efforts were also hampered due to Covid-19 restrictions). Using a now cracked goal was clearly a safety concern, and we were happy step in and assist with the purchase of a replacement so that the junior games could proceed for the season and years to come.

Maungakaramea Playcentre

Focusing on the topic of ‘He Kakano” which means ‘Growth, Development and Expansion’ Maungakaramea Playcentre are doing an ‘incredible edibles’ project with their Tamaraiki. Their project involves planting an edible hedge and raised garden beds so their Tamariki can grow their own kai and learn how to care for it and ultimately prepare and eat it.  With a focus on sustainability, this evolving project also encompasses heathy eating, healthy bodies, gardening systems and identifying good and bad bugs in the garden, companion planting, waste reduction, sharing and so much more…  It is envisaged that this project undertaken by Maungakaramea Playcentre will extend out and benefit the wider community.

Playcentres are a vital part of New Zealand offering a special place for families with young children to play, grow and learn together, as well as forge meaningful friendships with other families in the community. With a focus on child-led learning they provide a sense of belonging as families share responsibilities and decision making.  Each Playcentre around New Zealand is cooperatively managed by parents and supported by Playcentre Aotearoa and Federation staff at a national level. This provides centres with both the independence and support to meet the specific needs of their own area.  Every village, every community can shape what’s important to families in the area.

2020 Recipients – Funding Round 2

Pukenui Western Hills Forest Charitable Trust

Pukenui Western Hills Forest Charitable Trust are passionate about preserving native forest and wildlife in and around Whangārei.

The area known as Pukenui Forest, or Western Hills, is a dominant feature and treasure of the people and city of Whangārei. The eastern fringes of the forest are bounded by the edge of the city itself – from Maunu in the South to Western Hills Drive and Kamo in the North.⁠  It is a relatively large area of native (temperate) lowland broadleaf forest, a type of habitat now rare in New Zealand. It is known to contain a number of threatened species, including long-tailed bat, North Island brown kiwi and New Zealand wood pigeon.

We were proud to provide Pukenui Western Hills Forest Trust with funding for new trail cameras so they can continue their work preserving native forest and wildlife and asking everyone to be advocates for our kiwi.

North Coast Board Riders Club

The North Cost Board Riders Club approached us for funding to purchase a defibrillator lock box – so that they could make their defibrillator accessible to their community. Housed on the external wall of their Sandy Bay club rooms tourists and the rural community alike are now able to access to unit. Being in an isolated, rural location means it can take longer for emergency services to arrive, so having access to the defibrillator now means more immediate action can be taken in the event of an emergency.  We felt this purchase added value to an already vibrant and busy community and tourist destination – prioritising the safety on all those who live in and visit this coastal community.

Established in 1978 the North Coast Board Riders Club supported and assisted local surfers in realising their full potential while promoting sustainability and community through club activities. The club regularly host beach clean-ups, dune preservation initiatives and planting days to help preserve their ‘playground’ – demonstrating a high level of commitment to the community and the environment.

Whau Valley School

Whau Valley School is a decile 2 school filled with fabulous, friendly and fun-filled tamariki who love to learn. After their library was decommissioned and converted to classrooms, teachers, support staff, families and the community rallied together, with the help of Ministry of Education, and have work tirelessly to reinstate the school’s library and create a multi-purpose environment of which they are proud.

You will see teachers, children, friends and families sharing the newly designed space. With big plans ahead, and so many needs to be met, the school approached us for supplementary funding to purchase a new computer (replacing their only existing computer – a single obsolete model) to ensure the space becomes an even more useful, valuable and accessible information hub for their staff, tamaraki and whanau. The new computer will be used for educational activities, community outreach efforts and enhancement of the space where children can be creative and imaginative in their use of technology.

2020 Recipients – Funding Round 1

Northland Arts Centre

Whangārei’s only casual and respite arts facility the Northland Arts Centre is a local not for profit organisation dedicated to bringing healing through arts and positive influence. Their fully qualified teachers are experts at delivering clear, simple lessons with big impact – and aim at building community and connections through art.

Art and creativity is proven to be an effective outlet for self-expression and healing, and the Centre approached us to support them in rolling out a unique program for those suffering grief, mental health or poverty.

Art has long provided a way for humans to work through the tricky ebbs and flows of life and offers creative relief in trying times. Julia Tapp who runs the Centre uses the power of art therapy to help those under her care: building a sense of well-being and function in day-to-day living without any expectation or pressure to achieve perfection, and allowing people to change their outlook and find some respite.

Manaia View School

Manaia View School is a decile 1 school in Raumaunga who strive for educational success for all. They pride themselves on providing as many opportunities for their students as possible, but they struggle to fund all the tools that they feel necessary to best enhance learning. The school already work hard to ensure that all students have equitable access to learning tools and that any funding shortfalls come at no cost to other areas, nor fall on teachers to fundraise to ensure student needs are met.

The School’s digital learning programmes have contributed significantly to raising achievement by increasing student engagement and providing a range of learning activities that cater to individual needs. However insufficient funding meant they were unable to fund digital learning programmes in Maths to their year 4-6 students.Their application to us was made to us with the goal of raising student achievement using a motivational tool called ‘Mathletics’ that has proven to engage learners in what can often be a challenging subject.  A highly motivating tool for student learning Mathletics has been run with great success for their older students – giving teachers the ability to closely monitor student progress and set individual pathways in an engaging format.

Developing key knowledge of mathematical fundamentals at an earlier age has proven to equate to greater progress further on as students start look at more complex mathematical concepts.  Thought the purchase of additional online subscriptions the school can now expand this program to benefit their younger students who struggle with the subject, and maximise learning opportunities for all.

2019 Recipients – Funding Round 2

Tiaho Trust

The only event of it’s kind in Whangārei, the Tiaho Trust’s Ruakaka Surf Day ‘Surfs Up’ event, gives disabled youths and adults an opportunity to catch a wave in a fun, safe environment. In order to keep this event free for participants, the Tiaho Trust approached us for funding for this unique event that brings enabled and disabled people together to learn from each other. Through events such as these the Tiaho work to promote the disabled community as valued citizens who contribute, participate and add to the diversity of New Zealand society.

Tiaho Trust aims to significantly contribute to the New Zealand Disability Strategy’s vision of ‘A society that highly values the lives and continually enhances the full participation of disabled people’ by positioning themselves as the leading proactive disability led organisation in Tai Tokerau from which the community can obtain expert advice and support.

SPCA Whangārei

Urgently needing assistance in the lead-up to ‘kitten season’, the Whangārei SPCA approached us for funding for their Foster Kitten Packs. The funds are being used purchase the basic items needed for a kitten’s placement with foster families – before they return to the centre for adoption. Foster families volunteering to take animals into their care are the backbone of the SPCA’s ability to rehome so many abandoned, neglected, abused and orphaned animals. In addition to the hundreds of animals in SPCA centres across New Zealand, thousands more are being cared for in foster homes.

The SPCA helps protect over 40,000 animals in New Zealand every year. Animals who are sick, injured, abused or simply abandoned. Over 800 cats and kittens are adopted out of the Whangārei Centre each year, but unfortunately many of the animals that come into the Whangārei Centre need extra treatment, and/or socialisation before finding their forever home which places extra stress on funding.

Hatea Lions Club of Whangārei

The Whangārei Hatea Lions regularly donate their time to the successful ‘Summer Safe Carparks’ programme coordinated by Whangārei District Council under the City Safe umbrella and supported by the New Zealand Police, and a range of dedicated local community organisations.  Since December 2010, carpark ambassadors have been looking after car parks near popular beaches and reserves throughout the busy summer period with the aim of preventing theft from vehicles parked at popular tourist spots to create a positive experience for carpark visitors, and has proven to be an invaluable contribution towards ensuring a safe district with no vehicle crime committed in those areas whilst the ambassadors were on duty.

As Summer Safe Carpark ambassadors, the Whangārei Hatea Lions Club volunteers not only ensure that public carparks are clean, and will report on any vandalism, maintenance issues or suspicious behavior, but also offer assistance and advice – ensuring a positive experience for all visitors. Patrolling for hours in the hot summer conditions, the club wanted to ensure that their own volunteers were well protected from the sun – and we were only too happy to help with the funds needed for Cancer Society Approved hats for their volunteers who regularly roll up their sleeves to help the community.

Lions are ordinary men, women and young people from all walks of life who are united in their desire to make a difference by contributing their time and talents to help other people.

Northwave Swim Club

Committed to giving swimmers the opportunity to enjoy their sport and reach their goals, the Northwave Swim Club approached us to assist them with pool lane hire fees over the summer period. This support means their swimmers can train six days per week under the guidance of two experienced coaches as they train for a series of local and national events.

A well established club, with experienced coaches, their swimmers have proven that you don’t have to move to a big city to be competitive at a high level.

2019 Recipients – Funding Round 1

Forget Me Not Adult Day Centre (Northland Disabled Charitable Trust)

The Centre provides a day care service for adults of all ages including those who are young with disabilities, the elderly and frail, those with memory loss, head injuries and/ or other disabilities. With a focus on inclusion and engagement, The centre strive to provide quality care that enhances the welfare not only of the clients but also of the carers and families and provide a range of activities for their clients to enjoy – including running regular art classes.  These classes encourage the development of fine motor skills, mental stimulation and a sense of achievement, and with so many wanting to develop their art skills we have provided additional art supplies to support this program.

Opuawhanga Tennis Inc

Opuawhanga Tennis Club is committed to providing a healthy and safe place for local families to exercise and meet and have been an integral part of the local community for over 80 years. They strive to make tennis accessible to all in their communities so rely on fundraising, donations and external funding to keep subs low. Their members have also worked hard on making grants stretch by volunteering their own time to reduce maintenance and labour costs. New nets were needed for their recently resurfaced tennis courts, and we were delighted to assist them with this.

Hukerenui School – Room 7 Quarry Arts Centre Excursion

When Jodie wanted to take her class on an artistic adventure and experience education outside of the classroom she approached We Can Help With That for funding. Knowing that the tools and equipment are not always available through school resources, that the course costs may be prohibitive for some parents, and being tactile sensitive herself she and her students put together a stunning proposal to attend The Quarry Arts Centre’s Art Discovers Program – a visual education program to inspire and educate the next generation of artists.  We were happy to see these students had a wonderful experience and opportunity to experience art and, learning from them and sharing skills.

Raurimu Avenue School

The Raurimu Avenue School were seeking support for their Ohua ki Raurimu festival – an annual celebration of performing arts which involves invitational performance groups from Primary Schools within Whangārei.  A small school of only 75 students, they proudly host this non-competitive event which celebrates schools, whanau and communities and the performing arts – whilst giving students the opportunity to shine.  We Can Help With That provided funding for the equipment necessary to host and run this event.

Bike Northland

Bike Northland provide cycle skills training to school children around Whangārei . Their program is delivered free to schools, and while they receive funding to deliver the course, this does not cover the associated equipment needed. By providing funding to their program, We Can Help With That wish to ensure that all students have access to the equipment they need to learn how to ride in a fun and safe way – and hope these skills will promote confidence and healthy active lifestyles.

Bream Bay Community Patrol

The Bream Bay Community Patrol approached us to provide a simple upgrade to vital safety equipment needed to control traffic at road accident scenes and provide safety for passing motorists which we purchased for them.

Coastguard Tutukaka 

Coastguard Tutukaka operate from Bream head to Whangaruru and out beyond the Poor Knights Islands which is is a growing destination for recreational water activities and they are experiencing increased demand from personal recreational craft requiring their services. Their team of volunteers pride themselves on providing a professional service, and they were last year recognised as Coastguard Northland’s Unit of the Year.  Their team were seeking a signage upgrade to provide higher visibility to water users and important emergency contact information – while acknowledging their employees, volunteers and other supporters who allow them to continue provide their core service, Saving Lives at Sea.  Despite receiving some national funding, a considerable amount of local funding is still required for their operations.

Whangārei Steam & Model Railway Club

The Whangārei Steam & Model Railway Club operates at Heritage Park, Maunu.  Incorporated in 1978 for the purpose of acquiring, preserving, and operating vintage steam and diesel trains for the education and enjoyment of club members and the general public, the railway operates monthly and on special occasions over its own 0.8 kilometer main track.  Operated throughout its existence by volunteers, who ensure the safe operation and maintenance of the railway, about 5000 hours of voluntary labour per year goes into the operation and maintenance of the railway.  While the railway has received funding for capital works projects they largely pay their way by charging the public for rides. Members are currently working to complete the restoration of their second 1924 tram – which involves the replacement of all woodwork and engine refurbishment. Needing tools to complete this work, as well as ongoing maintenance We Can Help With That has provided them funding for additional tools to ensure patrons will be able to enjoy and ride safely on restored heritage vehicles.

Whangārei Toy Library (Regent Community Trust)

Whangārei Community Toy Library provides an affordable toy lending service to Whangārei families. Over 200 families are active members with an average attendance of 25-30 families per day. The library makes it possible for every family to experience quality play though an up to date and extensive selection of toys and equipment. Wanting to ensure the safety of their staff, volunteers and patrons they approached We Can Help With That for funding to upgrade their signage and we were only too happy to help

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