When we were in the thick of lockdown last year and everyone was feeling a bit ‘meh’, we wanted to interrupt all the negative news with something a little more positive. We knew there were people out there doing incredible things to help others get through, and we wanted to celebrate that. So, we put a call out for people to nominate an Aucklander they thought was awesome and tell us why.
We were blown away by the responses that came flooding in! After reading through the many hundreds of nominations, we invited some of these Awesome Aucklanders and their nominees in for a chat to find out more about what they’d been up to, and we’re sharing their stories in the pages that follow.
We talked to both our Awesome Aucklanders and the people who nominated them (who all turned out to be pretty awesome themselves) – we wanted to hear about what they were doing that made others notice and nominate them, but also why they were doing it and how it made them feel. And, we’ll tell you a secret – our Awesome Aucklanders were so touched to be nominated – to have someone notice the efforts they were making. So, if someone in your life is making a difference – to you, your whānau, your community – don't keep it quiet. Let them know! You’ll make their day.
We hope these heartwarming stories provide comfort and hope that Tāmaki Makaurau is full of aroha, a city of people who go the extra mile to look after each other, giving their time, their energy and their presence to make a difference. We hope reading these stories is a reminder that we are strongest together and we will get through the challenging times ahead by caring for each other.
These Awesome Aucklanders have given their time again to tell us their stories, and we are so grateful to them.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, ēngari he toa takitini.
My strength is not due to me alone, but due to the strength of many.
We know people are going through all sorts of tough stuff right now. If you think someone you know needs further tautoko/support, or if you need support yourself, it’s okay, there is help available – no one should go through a tough time alone.
The best first point of contact is to make an appointment with your GP or tākuta or offer to go to a GP/tākuta with your friend or whānau member. They can help assess what further support might be needed. If you don’t have a GP and need help finding one, call Healthline on 0800 611 116.
You can also call the Family Services 211 Helpline for help finding, and to be directly connected to, community-based health and social support services in your area. Call 0800 211 211.
These are some of the services available in New Zealand that offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week unless otherwise specified.