The Huntly-based trust celebrated the milestone last week.

It was all about looking after the people and environment when the Waahi Whaanui Trust started and 30 years later it  still holds onto those values.


The Huntly-based trust celebrated the milestone last week.


The organisation was established in 1983 but the trust deed wasn't signed until 1987. 


It was at that point the organisation secured funding to run programmes for coal miners who were made redundant.


"[There were] 450 miners who were made redundant back then, we started miner re-training programmes because all they knew were the mines," chief executive Hori Awa said. 


Awa started as committee member on day one and entered into the top job 25 years ago.


In that time he's seen a lot of growth and developments with the most recent being the purchase of land in Fairfield. 

One thing has stayed the same, however. 


"We've just continued on trying to help out people and the environment," he said. 


The trust provides services including community alcohol and other drugs programmes, family support and the HIPPY education programme for parents and their youngsters.


"Being a supportive area for people to go to is our biggest achievement."


Where the organisation is based now on Parry St it used to be the single men's camp when the Huntly Power Station was built.


The buildings are now used for administration purposes and the services.


While the trust has established a good foundation, Awa said a collaborative approach with other agencies was crucial to being able to help people. 


"I think the role we play is we're the central point where people can come, our role is for a hand up not a hand out," Awa said. 


"It's really about what's happening in the home and that's part of the challenge... to get families engaged."


Awa said the trust had the resources of a tribal fund to help those families. 


"The task is to get those resources down to the families... it's about us [agencies] working together.


"I know we will be around here for another 30 years... it's going to take a team effort of tribal initiatives, Government initiatives and local input."

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