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HomeNEWSRetailers offer community support through Te Puea Marae

Retailers offer community support through Te Puea Marae

The Warehouse Group is the latest company to get on board and offer help for homeless people at Te Puea Marae in Mangere Bridge. The company launched a page on its website enabling customers to donate items to the marae. For each item a customer donates, The Warehouse will match the purchase one-for-one.

Te Puea has specifically requested each product and the items will be delivered to the marae at no cost.

Items on the site available for donation include large storage containers, disposable cutlery and aluminium foil.

Chief executive Simon Turner says the webpage will help ensure Te Puea Marae has no shortage of what it needs most.  

“We know that it can be difficult for our customers who want to donate, but aren’t sure what items are needed most. We’re supporting our customers to give products that are exactly what is needed.”

Te Puea Marae opened its doors to Auckland’s homeless in May. The Manaaki Tangata initiative, which will run until the end of winter, has been widely supported by the public and businesses. More than $81,000 has been donated through the marae’s Givealittle page.

Hundreds of New Zealanders have donated food, clothing and other goods. The Warehouse is not the only company to get on board.

Flick Electric Co committed to supplying the marae with free electricity during the winter month. Chief executive Steve O’Connor says helping communities in need is an important part of doing business.

“Being socially responsible is just good modern business practice. A few dollars off our bottom line means the world to people in need.”

Giving by businesses makes up just 3 percent of all giving in New Zealand, according to the most recent Philanthropy New Zealand survey in 2014. However the retail industry’s reaction to the marae’s homeless initiative is part of a growing trend of businesses with a social conscience, particularly in support of New Zealand’s housing crisis.

Wellington’s The Free Store is a simple way a growing number of hospitality businesses choose to support the city’s vulnerable. More than 50 businesses in Wellington save surplus food for the nightly store, which gives items away for free to anyone who considers themselves in need.

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