Our local Heroes

Column Articles
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

There is always a danger calling out people in our community but I do want to mention two locals who are working very hard for those less fortunate – Tommy Wilson and Jo Gravitt.

Jo is the Chair of the Tauranga Community Housing Trust and has spent many years dedicated to improving access to housing for those who are struggling in our community.  She is passionate but always willing to listen to different perspectives but unwavering in her view that housing should be a basic right for all of us.  I could spend this column stepping through the Governments response to the housing issues, but actually, I think it’s time to acknowledge those who do tremendous work on the behalf of those who find it hard in today’s society.

Tommy Wilson has been at the forefront for those he would say are at the bottom of the heap.  It’s been his calling for many years and his efforts to provide help, support but above all hope through Te Tuinga Whanau needs to be acknowledged and applauded.  Always giving of his energy and time, he is an extraordinary local taonga who will be embarrassed with the reference  - but I say because it’s true.

I am a believer of the power of community.  I believe local need is often best supported and provided by those within a community.  This is not an argument for a hands off Government attitude, far from it, just an observation that when everyone pulls together great things happen.

In Jo and Tommy, we have two local examples of how Te Puna is blessed with people who care and are willing to help out.