Porirua Area Office started the year by organising the Cannons Creek basketball extravaganza "The Cage" and also sponsoring 25 kids to receive swimming lessons.
Tenancy Manager Soozie was keen to get local kids, whānau and the community involved in a basketball fun day. She pitched the idea to Area Manager, Kathy, who got on the phone to good friend Kenny McFadden, Coaching Director of the New Zealand Basketball Academy and former mentor of Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams.
Soozie and Kathy say they were over the moon to have Kenny kindly donate three hours of his time to run drills with the kids. Soozie says it got them thinking about what else they could do to make the day memorable for all. After a few more phone calls the team had organised a sausage sizzle and plenty of giveaways for the kids and their whānau.
"We also got the police involved and their Wellington Basketball team put their hands up to assist Kenny and help with the event. The day was a roaring success with more than 30 kids involved. Even the Mayor, Mike Tana, and Deputy Mayor Izzy Ford were there. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and had a smile on their face. Kenny was even giving away Steven Adams t-shirts and OKC Basketballs as spot prizes for the kids; the look on their faces was priceless,” says Soozie.
The Porirua Area Office team believe it was a great example of Housing New Zealand working in partnership with local agencies, and it wouldn’t have happened without the support of sponsors; Pastor Tauira & Victory Church, DJ Manaia – Graduate from Whitireia DJ School, JH Whittakers & Sons, Prestons Meats Porirua, McDonalds Porirua, PakNSave Porirua and The Māori Wardens.
Kathy says it’s sure to be the first of many combined community events for the year in Porirua.
"It shows what can be done when we all work in together and of course without the amazing staff we have in our Porirua office, well without them going above and beyond, it just wouldn’t have happened."
Porirua Area Office was also keen to put their community spirit to further good use by joining the working group for the Cannons Creek Pool 50th anniversary and sponsoring a couple of local primary kids to receive swimming lessons.
Kathy says the cost was $100 for one child to receive a term of lessons.
"Our goal was to sponsor six kids. When we started fundraising through the Porirua Area Office and the Customer Service Centre we were already half way to sponsoring 3 kids. Naturally there was such a great response to the cause we decided to fundraise at the Wellington National Office (NOW) with a simple chocolate raffle."
Kathy says once the raffle email went out to staff they received a supporting response from the Health and Safety Team.
"It said being able to swim is a fundamental skill required by every Kiwi, and that the HSS team were donating $100 to this cause and sponsoring a child to swim. They sent out the challenge to other groups to do the same. More staff from NOW got involved and we ended up raising enough to sponsor 25 kids! Feels so good to support our community."