International Volunteer Day 2013 was auspicious for Volunteer Wellington on many counts.

This was the day – 5 December – that Treasury began their employee team volunteering journey with a project at Windley School in Porirua East. Reading to the children and talking about the stories was their task.

The Treasury team loved the session; and there was so much excitement on the part of the kids that a couple rushed up to their new-found ‘storytellers’ afterwards with enthusiastic kisses!

The celebratory part of Volunteer Wellington’s International Volunteer Day was a morning tea held in a local café, the Jimmy, with more than 80 guests from every corner of the community.  Four inspiring speakers talked about their volunteering experiences and how these had an impact on their lives.

Bill Rawiri’s story was about his unique organization; the journey of how a local urban Marae / Papakainga in Paparangi has changed the face of the landscape through the extraordinary contribution of energy, willingness and generosity from volunteer teams.

‘These are the ones who have made this project – Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi – grow and develop.’ He mentioned several corporate employee teams who had planted trees, cleared off weed coverage, painted buildings and even – ‘in the course of one day’ – built a shade house.

Bill described some ‘brilliant partnerships’ which had further added to Ngā Hau e Whā’s success. ‘Residents from the nearby old peoples’ homepot up locally sourced seedlings and a couple of schools in the district then nurture these until they are ready for planting out. A lot of people are helping with a revegetation and revitalization project which has plans stretching ahead for the next 20 years.’

Attached are a series of photos illustrating aspects Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi’s journey so far.

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