NZCT has given a significant grant of $66,000 to Gisborne’s Huringa Pai Charitable Trust, which has made the purchase of a new 18-seat van possible.
The grant is a big boost to Huringa Pai and the local community. It will remove two significant barriers to whānau participating in the Trust’s activities - affordability and transport. Huringa Pai’s activities focus on helping local whānau combat diabetes through supporting their healthy living and include exercise, healthy eating, budgeting and dietary and lifestyle support.
“From a group walk around the block at lunchtime, to whānau group fitness classes, to climbing Mt Hikurangi, whānau have opportunities to participate at whatever level they are comfortable with,” says Chairperson Carol Shepherd. “As their fitness, confidence and wellbeing improve, whānau have the opportunity to advance to competitive events, such Iron Māori and Ironman, trail walking, marathons, ocean swimming… whatever they choose.”
Most people engaging with Huringa Pai require transport to and from the activities and the Trust also needed transport for equipment, kai and signage to ensure the success of its various programmes and activities.
“Now we have removed the transport and affordability barriers, there are no reasons why whānau can’t attend and participate,” says Carol.
A key activity that the new van will be used for is monthly treks to climb Mt Hikurangi. This day trip starts at 3.30 am in order to reach the start point of the climb by sunrise. “For some of our participants who have always wished to climb their maunga and connect with their whenua, it is the start of their Huringa Pai journey. They then go on to join other activities and continue their health and wellbeing journey, becoming role models for other whānau,” says Carol.
Carol, the rest of the Board and the whānau they support are absolutely ecstatic with the new van. “Everyone connected with Huringa Pai is blown away by the generosity of NZCT and the recognition of what we are doing to improve the health and wellbeing of our whānau,” beams Carol. “It makes all the hard work worthwhile and enables us to plan for the future.”