Members of three volunteer fire brigades – Tuakau, Pokeno, and Onewhero attended a benefit social night last Saturday (3 July 2021), in time for Matariki when we honour and remember loved ones who are no longer with us. The event was organised for the crews and whānau to acknowledge the impacts associated with the loss of loved ones and colleagues and to raise mental health awareness.
The organising committee wished to demonstrate manaakitanga and spirit of the whakataukī “He waka eke noa” (everybody in one canoe with no exception) by bringing together the brigades as a big whānau to support each other in overcoming obstacles as part of any healing process.
The event, featuring famed musician Sir Dave Dobbyn, vocalist and Navy reservist Rebecca Nelson, and speaker Mike King, was thoroughly enjoyed by over 200 guests, with some taking home prizes.
Peter Colman, Station Senior Officer of Tuakau Fire Brigade, says, "We held this social event because we care about our crew's wellbeing. It was very positive and a good opportunity to reinforce our organisational values: we do the right thing, we serve and support, we are better together, and we strive to improve."
Thomas Harre, Principal Rural Fire Officer of the Te Hiku Region of Fire and Emergency New Zealand says, " We want to especially thank the community, employers and whānau of our brigades for their daily support. They play a key role in enabling our members to continue doing their great work within their communities.”