Five well-deserving recipients around New Zealand have been awarded $5,000 each by Westpac NZ to recognise the incredible contribution they’ve made to their communities and help them continue their selfless work.
The winners were chosen from 5,000 nominees to celebrate the idea behind Westpac NZ’s brand campaign “Together Greater” – reflecting the value of coming together as a community to build a better future for Aotearoa.
Westpac NZ Chief Marketing Officer, Suraiya Phillimore-Smith, says she is thrilled to see community heroes being recognised.
“It’s been a rough time for many people financially, mentally and socially, so we think it’s important to showcase the tireless work New Zealanders are doing every day to support whānau and communities across the country.
“The five recipients are incredibly deserving. We hope that giving them a financial boost will empower them to help even more people in their region.”
Westpac NZ has a long and proud history supporting the places New Zealanders live and work, including partnerships with the Westpac Rescue Helicopters, BLAKE and many more organisations.
Editor’s note: The five winners receiving $5,000 from Westpac NZ.
Andrea Thompson – Tauranga
Despite volunteering 18+ hours a day in times of need for NZ Emergency Management Assistance Team (EMAT), Andrea Thompson only thinks of others. After assisting during the Whakaari / White Island eruption and severe flooding in the South Island, Andrea has recently been working towards setting up a branch of Pet Rescue to care for people’s pets while they escape domestic abuse, providing reassurance and removing a key stressor for victims of domestic violence. The funds will go towards set up for Pet Rescue.
Kim Clark, Black and Tan Young Guns - Gore
Kim helps support her community by bringing young rural shepherds together through the sport of dog trialling. It’s well known that farming can be an isolating career, so regularly coming together as a group is beneficial to the whole community. Since the Black and Tan Young Guns operate a free service, the funds will support a training day event to teach participants more about the craft.
Jake Murdoch, Barber - Christchurch
Jake is passionate about giving back to the community, providing quality barbering free of charge to those struggling with homelessness in Christchurch. Wholeheartedly believing it’s all about the people, his barbering services to the wider community cost just enough to pay the bills to keep them accessible to everyone. He’s passionate about mental health, and volunteers for a number of causes to support people in need. The funds will support Jake’s great work in the community.
Moutoa Māori Wardens – Manawatū-Whanganui
The Moutoa Māori Wardens, made up of volunteers between the ages of 24-75, have been pivotal to the regional COVID-19 response. They’ve assisted around the clock with the vaccination roll-out as well as delivering food and health supplies from their own pocket to Kaumatua, Kuia (elderly) and communities in need. They also offer virtual coffee catch ups for those living alone or in remote areas. The funds will be used to continue this hard work in their community.
Tayla Nasmith, Mummys in Need - Auckland
At just 20 years old, Tayla has worked tirelessly for eight years to support families in hardship with material aid through her charity ‘Mummys in Need’. The charity has grown to support approximately 4,000 children each year in Auckland, Taranaki and Hamilton with around 30 volunteers giving their precious time each month. The funds will be used to help the volunteer team continue their great work.