Home' Hastings Mail : November 15th 2011 Contents 19
HASTINGS MAIL, NOVEMBER 16, 2011
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Home goes over the wire
New habitat: Couple David Hunga-Hunga
and his partner Sharne Repia pictured as
the first section of their new home is crane-
lifted over the razor wire at Hawke's Bay
Prison. It was built inside the prison in a
partnership by Habitat for Humanity and
Corrections, by prisoners studying toward
national certificates in building.
In a New Zealand first, an entire house
built on the inside for a family on the
outside was hoisted over Hawke s Bay
Prison s five-metre-high outer fence last
The four-bedroom dwelling -- destined
to become the new home of the
Hungahunga-Repia family -- was built in
two sections by a team of prisoners over
14 weeks in the project between Habitat
for Humanity and the Corrections
Couple David Hunga-Hunga and his
partner Sharne Repia -- who have three
children aged 16, 4, and 2 -- were on hand
to watch as the sections were manoeuv-
red by crane over the prison razor wire.
Before the building was lifted,
prisoners who had built the house from
the ground up bade farewell by signing
the floor of the home.
The home was transported to its new
site in St Leonards in Hastings where it
was placed on permanent foundations
before a team of volunteers helped to fin-
ish the home inside and out, including
landscaping and fencing.
The Hunga-Hunga-Repia family will
relocate from Napier when the home is
ready by December.
We never thought we would get our
own home, so this is awesome, mum
It s a new start for us. The kids are
really looking forward to moving into the
house and the oldest will be starting at a
new school, she added.
Sharne, a qualified chef, and David,
who works at a yard maintenance com-
pany, were selected as a partner family
three years ago after helping out on two
previous Habitat For Humanity builds.
Habitat Central North Island general
manager Nic Greene said the project rep-
resented more than just a new building.
It allows prisoners to give something
back to the community by building a
home for a local family in housing need.
This benefits the local family and their
community, Mr Greene said. The
prisoners involved in the build are all
studying towards national certificates in
building construction and allied trade as
part of Corrections Inmate Employment
One prisoner, Lance, was hoping to
start a career as a builder after his
I ve picked up a lot of skills and I just
love it. Especially when you get to see the
finished product. I m just looking for
someone to give me a chance when I get
out of prison.
He had been eagerly telling his mother
on the phone about his plans to extend
I keep telling her she can trust me,
that I have the skills. But I think I ll
start by building a verandah!
CIE representative Gavin Houston
described the project as an excellent
partnership between Habitat and
Now mum keeps
up with the kids
Fit family: Hastings mum
Sally Kerr will be doing this
year's Peak Trail Blazer on
Sunday with son William, 9,
and daughter Annabel, 7.
Sally Kerr had not
stepped foot inside
a gym, let alone
before entering the
Trail Blazer event
Mata Peak last
gone on to com-
plete this year s
Triple Peaks Chal-
lenge in a mam-
effort, as well as
the recent Staples
She now goes to the gym every week, and can
keep up with her children.
Last year s Trail Blazer was a great introduc-
tion for me. Before that I was really unfit, and was
one of those people that never did any exercise and
had never been inside a gym, she says.
The trigger for me was I wanted to be able keep
up with my kids -- they re both pretty sporty.
Now I go to the gym once a week, and play
tennis and hockey with the kids. I m fitter,
healthier and happier, she says.
Mrs Kerr has even enlisted her children -- son
William, 9, and daughter Annabel, 7 -- to compete
in the 2011 Peak Trail Blazer on Sunday. The
Trail Blazer is a fundraiser for Havelock North
Primary and Sumner School in Canterbury.
For full details of the event and to register go to
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