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Eco-friendly workshops help reduce Christmas waste



06 Dec, 2021

thumbnail 22 MF-TeWhaicraft1-347A recent festive event captured the special magic and purpose of Christmas, wrapping up the gift of giving, with inspiring ways to be mindful of the environment while raising some cash for those in need.

Co-created by three of the districts community-dedicated groups - Sustainable Kaipara, Plastic Free Mangawhai and Te Whai Community Trust - the ‘Low Waste Christmas Workshop’, held in the garden of Te Whai’s office at the Rose Madsen Cottage on November 27 attracted people of all ages who were keen on reducing festive waste by designing and creating their own gifts.

Activities from flax weaving, jewellery design, making dog toys, shell mobiles and Christmas trees, painting and decorating rocks and pebbles, card design, and creating personal wrapping and gift boxes, were all on offer. Volunteers from community groups and individuals including the Monday art group, Plastic Free Mangawhai, Mangawhai Community Garden, Kylee from New Bold Designs and Ananda's Arts, lent their talented hands to lead the workshops.

Held purposely outdoors to meet Covid restrictions, the event’s Koha raised $115 to go towards the work of Plastic-Free Mangawhai and buy items for Te Whai’s Christmas Aroha Baskets.

Sustainable Kaipara co-director, Stephanie Gibson, says it was great to see so many community members come together to share their skills.

“Many people were able to make gifts while creating the opportunity to have a lower waste Christmas, which is kinder to our environment,” she says. “The highlight for me was the relaxed atmosphere and the smile on people's faces… seeing all ages come together, getting creative while helping to protect our precious environment.

“Would love for us to run more events like this. I'm so thankful for all the amazing volunteers who gave so much of their time for this event, we certainly couldn't do it without them.”





thumbnail 22 MF-TeWhaibasket1-779Te Whai’s drive for food

While Te Whai Community Trust offers help, support and groceries for struggling families throughout the year, their mission goes into overdrive in December to ensure that every local family has food on their table and every child has a gift to open on Christmas Day.

Until December 15, special boxes can be found around Mangawhai for the collection of sealed food items and quality unwrapped gifts, which will be packed into Te Whai’s Christmas Aroha Baskets and delivered to those in the community who might otherwise go without.

To help spread some festive cheer, collection venues include: Mangawhai Opportunity Factory Shop, Mangawhai Vitality Centre, Miniwhais, Mangawhai museum, Mangawhai Heads Four Square, Mangawhai Beach School, Mangawhai Tyres, Before Six Daycare, Te Whai Community House.

The Trust wishes to thank all collection points, volunteers, and community members who give so generously.

n For more information or to help or donate contact Te Whai Community Trust: Aroha Basket 027 220 0889, Te Whai 021 0247 8003, Facebook, or tewhaicommunitytrust.co.nz


Aroha Baskets mean a gift for a child and food on the table. PHOTO/JULIA WADE



Shopping Tips

With Christmas time well-known for creating financial pressure on some families, a recent Consumer NZ release identified a number of helpful shopping tips to be aware of over the holiday season:

• Consider a Secret Santa for your family.

• Encourage second-hand or homemade gifts.

• Avoid commercial Christmas hamper payment schemes like Chrisco, you end up paying much more than the value of the goods received.

• Set up a Christmas budget and put money aside each week.

• Shop by special throughout the year but try to price monitor to identify true specials. Some retailer ‘specials’ might not be all that special.


The Mangawhai Focus is the only 'Mangawhai' community Newspaper and is the paper of choice within the local area.

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