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Source: Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

Thirty thousand dollars will be injected into the Rotorua community following the sale of the Toi Ohomai Charity House. 

The Charity House project, which has been running since 2013, sees Toi Ohomai carpentry students build a home with support from industry partners. Professionals McDowell Real Estate has been on board since the project’s inception, using their expertise to market and sell the property, and the money raised is given to Rotary Rotorua Sunrise Charitable Trust to distribute throughout the community. 

The latest house has recently sold, with the profit of $30,000 available to be dished out to various community organisations. 

As part of the Charity House Project, the Institute partners with a large group of industry experts as well as Rotary Rotorua Sunrise. The project not only helps students gain hands-on experience, but contributes to the community. 

The project also meets one of Rotary’s key areas of focus to enhance humanitarian service by participating in a local service project related to economic and community development.

Toi Ohomai Faculty Dean Primary Industries, Trades and Infrastructure Brian Dillon says it is great being in a long-term partnership with Rotary for the Charity House project. 

“While the house itself is an outcome of the carpentry programme, it’s much more than just a house, and the students are part of that from the start. 

“They get a real sense of purpose from being involved in the build, and get to appreciate the entire build process. While many of these students will go on to gain apprenticeships and become trade qualified, they also remain part of the wider community who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the distribution of funds.” 

Rotary Rotorua Sunrise past president and Charity House Project Coordinator Sue Gunn says it is an exciting and unique community project for Rotary to be involved with.

“Carpenters are in short supply in New Zealand and with the rebuild of earthquake-ravaged Christchurch and the demand for housing throughout New Zealand at the top of the government’s priority list, this collaboration is important to our economy and community.”

Professionals McDowell Residential Sales Agent Paul McDowell said the company was proud to support the project on “a number of levels”.

“Firstly, the aspect of charity in itself is a great achievement that we take pride in supporting for the betterment of the community. Our willingness to play our part here is something we enjoy and encourage. 

“This project also allows students the opportunity to gain skills and hands on experience in the industry, creating more specialised builders who can make a difference towards the current housing shortage. 

“Plus, the value of producing more prefabricated transportable homes is something we are very excited about and believe will be part of a real solution, providing new housing in our area.” 

Expressions of interest from local charities are currently open until Thursday, 4 March. 

The application form can be downloaded directly from the Rotary Rotorua Sunrise website

Successful applicants will be presented with a cheque at a function at Toi Ohomai on Wednesday, 31 March.
The Charity House Project wouldn’t be possible without the following industry partners and suppliers: 

•    Carpet Court Rotorua
•    Hepburn Electrical Ltd
•    Hume Pine (NZ) Ltd
•    John Chittenden Design
•    Lee Brothers Cabinets & Joinery
•    Michelangelo Plasterers
•    Mitre10 Mega Rotorua
•    Professionals McDowell Real Estate Ltd
•    Red Stag Timber
•    Resene Paints Ltd
•    Roofing Industries (Taupo) Ltd
•    Rylock Bay of Plenty
•    Scaffolding NZ Ltd
•    Scott Electrical Ltd
•    The Lewis Plumbing Company
•    Yellow Fin Painting Ltd
•    Plus Dux Industries – Kohla – Hydroflow – Marley New Zealand – Plumbing World – Rheem New Zealand