Manager cycles for community
The Warehouse Tokoroa’s assistant store manager may be one of the store’s newer staff members but that hasn’t stopped him from giving back.
On Saturday morning amid thick fog 23-year-old Te Whata Nepia set off on a 66 kilometre cycling journey from Tokoroa to Taupo as part of the national Pedal for Plunket fundraiser.
Each of The Warehouse stores throughout the country has allocated team leaders to take part in the cycling fundraiser which is seeing them, along with Plunket staff and other supporters, cycling the length of the country throughout March to raise awareness and funds for Plunket’s community work.
The fact that Nepia has only been working at the Tokoroa store for five months made no difference when he decided to put his hand up for the Tokoroa to Taupo league of the challenge.
‘‘I did it to support the Tokoroa community,’’ he said.
He was joined by a friend and plunket staff for the journey which was the second Pedal for Plunket event he has taken part in.
‘‘I did the Pedal for Plunket three years ago when I cycled from Taupo to Turangi but this ride was a bit more advanced,’’ he laughed.
‘‘I was excited though because I had spent a long time training for it doing 40 to 50km rides once a week.’’
He was given a special Cook Island send off with dancers and a massive breakfast in The Warehouse’s carpark.
Store manager Jason Anderson said he was proud of Nepia.
‘‘Someone from the store had to put there hand up for it and I am not in the shape for it but Te Whata decided to do it even though it was on his day off,’’ he said.
‘‘Tokoroa is culturally very diverse and all those cultures need Plunket’s help and support so it really does mean a lot to the community.’’
He said it was testimony of Nepia’s good character.
‘‘He is only young and we are really proud of how far he has come up in the company so quickly,’’ he said.
Two weeks into the fundraiser The Warehouse Tokoroa has already raised $2,700 from instore donations which will go towards Plunket’s goal of beating last year’s national total of $297,000.
Riders have been making stops at 88 The Warehouse stores and will finish up tomorrow. Potential deterioration of the traditional progression pathway for herd managers, contract milkers and sharemilkers to land ownership has prompted a series of three consultation meetings.
The Waikato Federated Farmers Farm Owner Sharemilker Employer Section chairman John Numan came up with the initiative.
‘‘With a declining number of 50/50 sharemilking agreements becoming available, I just thought it was time we had a conversation with the people who offer those positions.
‘‘We need to ask them, hear their voice, rather than make assumptions,’’ Mr Numan said.
The meetings are intended only for landowners/contract and sharemilker employers rather than all interested dairy partners.
‘‘It needs to be a nonthreatening environment where we can create some honest and open communication.’’
One school of thought is that if fewer share and contract milkers outside of equity partnerships get the chance to work up to owning their own farms, there are implications for increased overseas investment and ownership.
The meeting with dairy farm owners will be held in Putaruru, at the Central Kids Kindergarten Association, 6 Glenshea St, Putaruru, on Wednesday, March 29 at 7pm.
The Warehouse Tokoroa assistant store manager Te Whata Nepia gets set for his Plunket ride.