News Release

Latter-day Saints Present Van to Christchurch Charity

Have wheels, kaumātua will travel

Yesterday representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented an eleven seater van to Te Puna Oranga.  The vehicle will be used for the kaumātua (elderly Maori people) and also for the families and young people who are supported by the organisation.

Many community based agencies are struggling to meet the demand and needs of individual and families in Christchurch.  Five years on from the 2011 earthquakes and the elderly are particularly susceptible to loneliness and isolation. This can be even more so for elderly who are Māori or from minority cultures.  

Mental health provider Te Puna Oranga started running gatherings for kaumātua several years ago with a group of thirty attending; now they have bloomed to having more than 180 at events.  

Transport for the kaumātua has been problematic, both to get then to the gatherings and also to assist them with transport to other essential appointments, such as attending the doctor or hospital visits.


"Partnerships between different organisations and agencies including churches mean we can be more caring and responsive to meeting the diverse needs of our communities” said local Church leader Jared Ormsby.

After the presentation one of the kaumātua, Aunty Kiwa Hutcheson, thanked the Church for the vehicle. View video here.  

Te Puna Oranga Manager Tania Mataki couldn’t express enough thanks, simply saying "good things like this just don’t happen to us.”  

The donation was made possible thanks to LDS Charities who administer humanitarian aid on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

According to manager Hans Sorensen, the 2014 LDS Charities annual report well over 2,000,000 people were directly impacted by LDS humanitarian aid. 

However, the “real” number of people affected by the aid is actually incalculable.  

"The Church supports communities the world over because that is what believers in Christ profess and therefore should do; be a neighbour - to borrow from the parable of the good Samaritan - to those in need regardless of age, gender, religion or political persuasion; seeking nothing in return,” he said.

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