She signed up with paeārahi, Leanne Karauna, three years ago when she moved to Mangakino to live with her partner in his home. At the time, she was unemployed and struggled to make ends meet. Ani now works in mental health services and the couple have taken in a boarder, who is on a Whānau Ora plan. While Ani’s an essential worker, she says Leanne was concerned about the two men being left to their own devices while she’s at work.
“Leanne still helps my partner because he’s on a sickness benefit, as well as my boarder because of the classes they have to attend,” says Ani.
She says Leanne remained in touch with the household during lockdown, via Facebook Messenger, text and phone calls.
“She’s always asking if they’re OK and has been great with the support she’s given us. Being in lockdown, she helped us get more food because we get paid fortnightly, so it helps on the off-weeks. She also offered to help us with power but our power bill’s up-to-date, so we didn’t need it. We try to only accept support when it’s a necessity.”
“She did deliver a hygiene pack to us though and we enjoyed getting those beautiful perks.”