Māori Women’s Welfare League gains access ramp
Te Awamutu Māori Women’s Welfare League base and office ‘Te Whiringa’ has received a new accessibility ramp courtesy of Waipā District Council.
In September, Council successfully applied for $38,600 from the Provincial Growth Fund to renovate and install a wheelchair ramp at the Council-owned facility, which took place in early December. The Provincial Growth fund is administered by the Provincial Development Unit, part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Rosemary Murray, President elect of the MWWL says the new ramp will be well utilised by visitors to the house especially those with a walking aids or disability.
“The new ramp means our regular groups can more easily access our building for activities and support where it previously was a barrier,” Murray said.
Murray acknowledged Angela Brown, ex Physio physiotherapist for initiating the project. Brown was supporting a fun ukulele lesson over several months and noticed the difficulty the people were having gaining entry then leaving having no hand rail or ramp.
“We support community health services with our volunteer membership to help in educating families to look after their own families through our community garden, ‘Te Ketungatahi’ a cooking program, crafting and latterly weaving, alongside health education with opportunities to have regular health check done on promotion days.”
Council’s property manager John Miles said improving the property was one way to support the volunteer organisation which provides a wealth of services to Māori women in the community.
The MWWL was established 63 years ago, with 14 years in the current location at 18 Lyons St in Kihikihi. The branch is one of a national network established in 1951 to support Māori women to address their own and their families’ needs.
A recent addition, Pataka Kai, is located at the front of the house and is supported by the wider community with donations of non-perishable food. Earlier this year, the branch made a successful application to Council’s Waste Minimisation Fund for the purchase of a freezer to preserve food for community food packages.
Te Awamutu Maori women's Welfare League offers advice to help family or liaise with other agencies to assist with family needs. MWWL hosts groups for meetings, but is also open for people to drop-in for a friendly chat. Donations of food and other resources, time or money are always welcome.\