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10 Jan 2019

Tauranga womens' shelter secures $150,000 in funding and says its doors will open in early 2019

The shelter, which will be named Awhina House, was this week approved $40,000 in Tauranga City Council funding.
Now, the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT) has granted $65,000 towards its establishment.

The Acorn Foundation, with help from Craigs Investment Partners, has also got on board, providing a further $15,000.

Meanwhile, Synergy Technologies has donated $20,000 and Watchmen Security $10,000.

"This means that we can confidently step into 2019 and our set-up phase with a good amount of money behind us to make it happen and open our doors," said Angela Wallace, chairwoman of He Kaupapa Kotahitanga Trust Tauranga.
The trust has already secured a lease on a building in The Avenues for the shelter.

Wallace said the $150,000 in funding would cover the shelter's set-up costs and provided a solid foundation for the first few months of operational costs. The trust was now working to secure long-term, ongoing funding.

Wallace said the trust wanted to open the shelter as soon as possible "because there are women sleeping on the street every night. This really confirms that there is huge community support for the homeless women in Tauranga.

"TECT general manager Wayne Werder said TECT was the cornerstone funder for the Tauranga Moana Men's Nightshelter in 2014 and its trustees had been impressed with "the fantastic outcomes they have achieved".

"It's really pleasing to see the developments towards the establishment of a much-needed shelter for women and we are delighted to be able to assist."

Acorn general manager Lori Luke said the foundation was "really pleased" to be able to support the set-up and launch of Awhina House.

"Thank you so much to Craigs Investment Partners Tauranga, whose $7500 Christmas donation to Acorn in lieu of client gifts matched the $7500 distribution our trustees granted from the Acorn Vital Impact Fund."

Synergy Technologies is owned by Rachel and AJ McKean.

"Our top company value is 'People First' and as part of this we are committed to supporting our local community," Rachel said.

"Awhina House is doing incredible work and we are so excited to be able to contribute and support the selfless service they engage in on behalf of women in our local area.

"Watchmen Security owner Bonnie Ohlson, who was the first to provide funding for the shelter, said he wanted to let the trust know that there were men around who supported its kaupapa and what it was doing.

"This passion to support the women's shelter came from my mum. She was a protector ... and provider and had an endless heart of love."

BayTrust also recently contributed to the women's shelter project by providing $6000 for external strategic planning.
"We look forward to working with them in the future and wish them all the best as they begin to undertake this important mahi," chief executive Alastair Rhodes said.

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