Still pro­vid­ing lo­cal jobs

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

A grass­roots busi­ness started 20-years ago in Man­gakino with a vi­sion to pro­vide jobs is now the area’s main em­ployer.

Lit­tle Helpers Ltd built up out of a garage in 1996 by two lo­cal women now em­ployee’s 23 lo­cals.

Man­ager Robyn Nikora said they out grew their work base and moved to a new site in Whaka­maru in 2003.

‘‘This was our director’s dream and she made it hap­pen.

‘‘That is what they are all about. It’s not a rich com­mu­nity. They want to keep the com­mu­nity em­ployed.’’

The core work of the com­pany is main­te­nance work, veg­e­ta­tion con­trol, man­ual traf­fic con­trol and sup­ply­ing labour.

An in­crease in con­tracts with Han­cock For­est, Carter Holt Har­vey, Mighty River Power Ltd, Waikato River Power Ltd, Waikato River Hy­dro and Geo­ther­mal sites has grown the busi­ness from strength to strength.

Com­pli­ance man­ager Dale Stu­art said the two direc­tors who want to re­main anony­mous are com­plete op­po­sites.

The pair de­scribed as the brawn and brains of the busi­ness proved the doubters wrong.

‘‘They were lit­tle helpers to start off with and very hard work­ing, go get­ting, lo­cals.

‘‘They both worked for ECNZ at the time and there was a niche that hadn’t been filled and that’s how it all came about.’’

The com­pany has their own in­house com­pli­ance man­ager who takes con­trol of all statu­tory re­quire­ments.

Lit­tle Helpers have pro­vided jobs for many un­em­ployed in Man­gakino, some of them un­skilled.

Stu­art said suc­cess doesn’t have to be con­fined to the larger towns.

‘‘They have worked re­ally hard.’’

Toko­roa-born Joseph Manu runs the ball dur­ing the round 15 NRL match be­tween the New Zealand War­riors and the Sydney Roost­ers.

Com­pli­ance man­ager Dale Stu­art and of­fice man­ager Robyn Nikora are busy keep­ing mak­ing sure every­thing is tick­ing away smoothly.

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