Love Soup founder leaving
Nearly three years of struggling to help feed Tokoroa’s most vulnerable has finally taken a toll on the town’s iconic volunteer.
Love Soup’s Julie King has decided to throw the towel in saying the stress is making her sick.
King said recent accusations that she was spending the relocation money in Whangaparaoa was the last straw.
‘‘I’m really disappointed in Tokoroa. People just want to attack. I’ve been really transparent.
‘‘I don’t even see the relocation money, the funders haven’t paid it yet and I don’t have access to it.’’
She said the land money remains with the lawyer and the rest needed to move the Love Soup building is still with the South Waikato District Council.
The lack of constant support, stress and a raft of accusations has driven her to go where she said the help is appreciated.
In less than two months King said Love Soup has a free building and gardens to help the homeless of Whangaparaoa.
‘‘They believe in what we’re doing and they appreciate it. Everything has gone the way it should.’’
July 1 marks three years Love Soup was formed in Tokoroa.
The journey to find a permanent location has been an uphill battle.
Now King is faced with the reality that it’s over.
Angry at how much time, money and resources have been wasted King blames the council.
‘‘We should be back in that building. We’ve had it taken from us and they’re only worried about the eyesore.
‘‘We can’t function to full capacity without a building. We work from our own homes in our own time.’’
Chief executive Craig Hobbs said Love Soup have until the end of the month to relocate the building or it will be up for tender.
A title dispute over land designated for the group in Currie St is holding up the move.
The offer earlier in the year from council to support the move to Maureen Seipolt Reserve has expired, leaving King with no options. ‘‘We’ve worked our butts off. ‘‘Nobody has a clue how hard it’s been and how much my family has sacrificed.’’ A negative news story on TV3 has prompted a mayoral candidate to stand up for Tokoroa.
Alan Blair was so concerned about Tokoroa being portrayed as a drug town on current affairs show, Story, he decided to set the record straight.
Ringing up Radiolive the next day he asked to be interviewed by the television presenter who is a host on the station.
Blair was booked to air his views with Duncan Garner but changes in the programme scheduling have delayed the interview.
‘‘Because it was a nationwide story why come to Tokoroa and focus on one town to talk to someone who is incoherent and not balance that.’’
Blair said he is aware people have a negative view of Tokoroa and the news story did nothing but reinforce that stereotype.
‘‘Drugs is a nationwide issue. I was going to talk to him about the positive things that happen.’’
Senior sergeant Henderson said Tokoroa is no different to any other community in the country dealing with drug problems.
‘‘All towns and cities have an element within them that look to benefit from the misery that comes with drugs.’’
Henderson said there has been a 5.8 percent reduction in total crime from July 2015 to April 2016 which includes drug related offending.
Julie King, front left, has been busy organising Love Soup Whangaparaoa which officially opens on June 18.