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The Whangarei Men’s Shed teamed up with an Otangarei work skills programme to teach people how to make park benches for the community.

Rākau Mārō is a community employment programme offered by Te Hau Āwhiowhio Trust which builds work ready skills amongst Otangarei whānau. The community workforce also supports the community with improvement projects – clearing litter in public places, maintaining a community garden, volunteering at community events, to name a few. Rākau Mārō even gave the Otangarei neighbourhood centre a bit of a facelift last year by painting the exterior of the shops.

Collaborating with the Men’s Shed to learn how to build park benches builds into two strategic goals – building skills and investing local talent in local projects; and making the community’s parks and public spaces nicer places to be.

The two completed park benches will complement the Otangarei playground that was built last year and a refurbished basketball half court, which is close to completion.

For Otangarei, this all contributes towards a vision shared by a number of organisations who support proud proactive prosperous whānau and a vibrant successful community, through the Kāinga Ora o Otangarei work programme.