Community Transport Initiative From Massey Matters

For community organisations working on the ground, it’s often the small projects which can have the biggest impact. That’s certainly the case in Massey where the community development organisation, Massey Matters, identified an urgent need for a community van that local groups could use to support their work. A successful application to the Million Dollar Mission in 2017 raised $16,785 towards the costs of leasing a community van. And what a difference the van has made! Vinetta Pearce, manager at Massey Matters updated us on how the community is using the van.

“Massey Matters is all about empowering our community through the delivery of a wide range of activities, workshops, funds, networks, programmes and events,” explains Vinetta.

“We look to inspire change, find solutions and achieve aspirations so when our community network told us that accessing transport was a real issue for them, we made it our job to do something about it.

“And now thanks to the Million Dollar Mission and all the wonderful West Auckland people that voted for us, we now have a community van!”

Massey Matters is making extensive use of the van. “Where once we might have relied on willing staff members using their own vehicles, we now have the community van to transport equipment and resources needed for local events, street BBQs, huis and team-building meetings,” reports Vinetta.

“The best thing though is that the van is also available to other community groups and organisations. Just this week West Harbour Primary School has used it to take a netball team to the Auckland Championships.

“Massey Matters youth group regularly uses the van to get to camps, youth huis and exchanges.

“And the Triangle Park Teaching Garden used it for a group outing to Kelmarna Gardens, an organic community garden in Ponsonby.”

Without the van, it’s likely that community groups would be struggling to put on these kinds of events or they simply wouldn’t be happening at all, advises Vinetta.

Schools in particular have made good use of the van which means that Massey’s children are no longer missing out on extra-curricular activities like they used to.

Vinetta says that without the Million Dollar Mission funding, the initiative would not have been able to go ahead.

“We just didn’t have the budget for it and so we are extremely grateful for the opportunity. We love how colourful the van is! It really stands out and is easily spotted around the local area.”

The Million Dollar Mission is available to support community groups no matter how big or small the project. In fact, making a difference to local communities is what the mission is all about.