Wednesday June 14, 2017
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National’s Chris Bishop and Erin O`Brien outside Erin’s new home.
Continued from page 1. Erin O’Brien moved out of her parents place and into her own 1970’s twobedroom place off Wellington Road in April, after cleaning out her KiwiSaver account, and attending more than 30 open homes. “I looked everywhere, but Wainui turned out to be the best place for me,” she said. “I’ve lived here my whole life, I know the area, my family lives here.” Judy Robinson, a real estate agent with The Professionals, said Erin was on her books last year, and was the first person she showed through the home. Despite interest from others, Erin’s offer was accepted. “It was a bit of luck on her part – she got what she wanted,” Judy said. Erin said her home has a sunny deck and needs a bit of painting. “I`m just going to put some of my own touches to it.” She is pleased that she
now doesn’t have to pay rent or board. “It’s for me – I`m not paying it to someone else.” She said if it wasn’t for the fact that she lived at home and could access her KiwiSaver account, she would still be paying rent or board. “I never thought I`d be able to own a home.” National list MP Chris Bishop said Erin’s home was one of more than 1500 homes purchased throughout the Hutt Valley through the Home Start scheme, with grants totalling more than $7 million. “The scheme is pretty effective – it’s a lovely little house.” Judy said Erin was one of at least three people she has sold houses to in Wainuiomata using the HomeStart scheme in recent months. The scheme has helped more than 1,522 people buy their first homes in the Hutt Valley, with grants totalling $7,031,000.
Council awarded for positive community impact A Hutt City Council initiative has received a Community Impact Award from Sport New Zealand. Lower Hutt’s Northeast Pathways Project (NEPP) gained the award which celebrates, promotes and encourages collaborative projects that will have a positive impact on the community and community sport. NEPP ties together seven Hutt Valley Schools in a project designed to use sport as an engagement tool to encourage
greater student participation in education and improved educational results. It grew from a desire to improve outcomes for students in areas where harsh socio-economic conditions prevail and students can face a range of distractions to their learning. It was the country’s first formal example of sport being used as a context and a tool across an entire community. One example of the project’s success is more than 3,500 local people have been involved
across a range of different activities and events since early 2015 including in-class work using sport to support other subject areas, family fitness programmes on school grounds and community sport expos. NEPP is a part of Empowering Tamariki for the Future, a wider Council-driven project aimed at making sure all Lower Hutt children have access to literacy, recreation, arts programmes and facilities of benefit to them.
Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace said, “I am delighted NEPP has been recognised with a Community Impact Award. Our tamariki are our future. We have a duty to make sure all children have every opportunity to access support, programmes and facilities that will help them participate in and contribute to our community in the future. “I hope local schools not already part of the project will take note of what they are doing and be inspired.”
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Published on Jun 13, 2017