Still providing local jobs
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.