Ruakaka Dog Rescue could soon be keeping the dog tucker in a fridge decorated by one of New Zealand's top artists.

The group is one of only five charities short-listed from an initial 250 nationwide to go on to the public voting stage in the Freezell 4 Your Community campaign.

The prize is a Haier refrigerator artfully decorated by Dick Frizzell. The winning charity can either keep the prize for its own use or turn it into a fundraiser.

Public voting opened last Monday and closed on Sunday. The winner will be announced March 28.


Ruakaka Dog Rescue was started by Jackie Boyd and Sacha Berger in 2014 after concerns about the number of stray dogs in the township.

Before long there was a network of people as far as Auckland rescuing, fostering and adopting unwanted dogs.

Ms Boyd said Ruakaka Dog Rescue has grown a lot since then, but she is still amazed that ''our little group from Ruakaka has got this far''.

''We've certainly being pushing for the votes, asking people to support us,'' she said before the voting closed.

Ruakaka Dog Rescue's work is mainly about educating people to be good dog owners, Ms Boyd said.

The group's volunteers take rescue dogs on school visits, and must fundraise to pay for food for fostered dogs and for de-sexing.

''We're always advertising for foster homes, but there are quite strict criteria. We do get donations of puppy food and other help, but we don't have a dog food company on board yet.''

''But we manage and we're very proud of what we've achieved.''

The other finalists in the running are Kapiti Woman's Centre, Bellyful (Christchurch), Community Kete (Porirua) and The Incubator (Tauranga).

The finalists were chosen by Erin Simpson and Colin Mathura-Jeffree, who were among many personalities who contributed to the Cooking 4 Change recipe book designed to raise money for charities.

Big names such as Sam Neill, Taika Waititi, Valerie Adams and Stan Walker also supplied recipes.

Chris Masterson, from Haier, said the response to the search for a community group to win the ''Freezell'' artworked fridge had been overwhelming.

Dick Frizzell said he had fun working on the project but at first thought he'd be designing a door wrap for a small beer fridge, not a large multi-door appliance.