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Aroha for the homeless plight

Mason Cameron of Cameron Construction with his employees who are volunteering to build cabins for ‘Project Manaaki’ – the transitional home for the homeless. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Local building crew volunteer their time and skills

Lisa Urbani

When Mason Cameron, owner of Cameron Construction, was asked to build cabins for homeless people in Wairarapa, he did not hesitate.

He is a family friend of Lyn Tankersley, who runs the Masterton Foodbank and is closely involved with Project Manaaki.

Project Manaaki is about making more accommodation available at the transitional house for the homeless, [in Elizabeth St in Masterton], by building wooden cabins that would be in the yard at the house.

For him, dealing with Blair Smith of ‘The Brickery’ – an avid supporter of community work and recycling, was part of the appeal too.

Mason said, “I want to be part of the community – my business model offers help to all.”

Four apprentices and two qualified builders from his company are working on the cabins, using donated material from Blair and companies such as Carters, Placemakers, and Capital pre-cut services, which have also supplied products for this worthy endeavour.

They are building three cabins which each cost about $3000 to complete, and one is almost finished.

Working around their other demands, on rainy days, and in their spare time over weekends, those participating are happy to do something for others who are less fortunate and don’t have homes to call their own.

Lyn said, “Mason is a lovely man with a huge heart for those less fortunate than himself and he and his team deserve all the praise”.

“He has been very helpful with Masterton Foodbank when we shifted, and now to be building the cabins for the homeless, with recycled materials, something which he is passionate about.

“Blair Smith from ‘The Brickery’ has provided many of the materials as well, and he also believes in recycling building waste to help the community.

“We need these awesome young men in our community and are very grateful to them for their help.”

Manaaki means ‘to take care of’ and ‘give hospitality to’, and Lyn and Mason hope that others might also be inspired to offer materials such as new iron cladding, 4 x 2 timber, and insulation, to help them complete the cabins within their deadline of two months.

Other sponsorship and monetary donations would be appreciated and the Henley Men’s Shed built a model wooden house which is at Westpac Bank in Queen St.

Deposits can be made through its chimney, or by direct credit to Westpac Account 03 0687 0039146 00.

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