Whānau business pitches in to help establish Hawke's Bay emergency shelter

  • North Island: East Coast

The Tawhiti whānau of Relocate Homes NZ are providing their services free of charge to support the establishment of Hawke’s Bay’s first emergency shelter for the prevention of homelessness.

Relocate Homes NZ is a local, family run business owned by Shannon and Hayley Tawhiti which has offered integral assistance to those striving to set up the shelter. They overcame a $100,000 hurdle to move a donated two storey building to use as the shelter.

The company will work with Kiri Swannell, her husband Kevin and their family who run a soup kitchen in Napier and have been calling for an emergency shelter. They were donated the Property Brokers Building in Hastings, provided it could be moved within a reasonable time frame.

Relocate Homes NZ Managing Director Shannon Tawhiti says he’s excited to get the wheels moving on such a positive project, which will help so many Hawke’s Bay families.

“When some parents from our local Kindy, who were involved in the project asked us to help, we jumped on board because housing is our passion. We hate seeing buildings demolished and really want this amazing project to work.”

The Swannells say they are overwhelmed by the Tawhiti’s generosity as they had received quotes of $100,000 for relocating the large building.

“It’s absolutely awesome. We couldn’t make it happen without the Tawhitis. We had budgeted $ 100,000 to move the building so we are so grateful and so pleased that a local Hawke’s Bay company is donating to the cause,” said Mrs Swannell.

Relocation Homes NZ has also offered to store the building in an industrial yard until a new site is found.

“Most house moving companies we spoke to said we would need land to move the building onto, so it’s a huge relief that the Tawhitis are also going to store it for us.”

Te Kāea reporter Aroha Treacher covered the gifting of the property to the cause championed by the Swannells.

 The job before them is not an easy task and an extremely complex process of preparation is required but all involved are confident they have the ability to get the job done effectively.

Mr Tawhiti also says he has a large network of local tradesmen and businesses that he will call on to get involved.

“This is an amazing charitable project which will give so much back to the community. We are so inspired by what the Swannells are doing and really want to make this happen.”

A project manager is still being sought for the project and a crane is still needed and focus has now turned to finding a suitable section of land to establish the centre.

Aroha has also followed the work and efforts of Kiri and Kevin Swannell who have dedicated an immense amount of time and effort to helping those in dire situations in the region. 

 For offers of help, please phone Ms Swannell on 027 3019 491. Make a pledge at givealittle.co.nz/project/limitlesshope, or donate directly to HB Limited Hope Trustee Ltd: 38 9017 0031 584 00.