Thirty years of patience, kindness and aroha

One Waikato Service has been supporting their local community for three decades – but it isn’t just a numbers game.

The Hamilton Budgeting Advisory Trust celebrated 30 years of service in February.

The trust started out with one part-time manager and volunteers in 1991, and now has six paid Financial Mentors working five days per week.

In 2019, they held nearly 1700 one-to-one financial mentoring and budgeting education session for people in the community.

Former Manager Clare Mataira reflected on her time with the trust and says patience, kindness and aroha were a cornerstone to their success.

“It was tough, but it was probably the best working years of my life,” she says, adding it was a great privilege to work there.

Manager Tony Agar thanked everybody for attending, particularly the Financial Mentors who kept the service running through the challenges of COVID-19.

“It has been a positive and challenging time and the most important people here are our clients – without them we wouldn’t have a service,” says Tony.

“The second most important people – our Financial Mentors – are standing in the second row. I would like them to individually stand and take a bow.”

FinCap Chief Executive Ruth Smithers says 30 years is a huge milestone for any organisation.

“We’re a young organisation and the relationships with our long-standing providers are vital to what we do,” she says.

“Being here to celebrate the Hamilton Budgeting Advisory Trust is one way we know we all need to keep doing what we’re doing.

“Congratulations to the entire team here for making it to 30 years and thank you for continuing to care about your community.”

Also in attendance were MP David Bennett, HBAT board members, other local services and Hamilton City Council representatives.