It's only three days a week. I'm not good at doing nothing.
Trish Byrne had several good reasons for giving 30 years of almost exclusively unpaid time to Whangamata Area School - and avoiding housework wasn't the only one.
Now aged 86, Trish started volunteering in 1990 after moving from Manurewa where she'd worked as a school nurse.
For a short time she was paid as a teacher aide - a minimum hourly wage - but for most of the past three decades she's given three days a week for free, helping behind the scenes and earning herself, she says, "a degree in photocopying".
"It's only three days a week. I say to my children thank goodness, I don't look forward to the school holidays. I'm not good at doing nothing. You could do housework but it's not my forte shall we say.
"I was paid at one stage as a teacher aide but I got a letter from somewhere saying 'don't bother coming in again', so I said well I'll do it for nothing.
"I thought, 'oh bugger them'. I was sure there was something I could do at the school."
Trish is known for her world travelling adventures and has continued these despite being widowed by husband John 14 years ago.
The community is losing Trish not because she is tired of giving, but because she decided to move to Richmond Villas in Thames to help with her loneliness.
Trish says it got worse when Covid-19 forced clubs to close down.
"I live right by the [Whangamata] estuary where you can swim three times a day but it's the loneliness that's motivating me, I should've done it years ago perhaps."
In Thames she plans to take part in more activities again and knock on the doors of local op shops to see if they need a volunteer.
She'll be missed by WAS teachers, and none more so than Amy Webb.
"She's my role model, my hero, someone I aspire to be. For her love of lifelong learning and her time and kindness with all the hours and hours she's given. She's a huge traveller too, so I love hearing her stories of her adventures," says Amy.
"What worries me is how many more whaea Trishes are coming along. There aren't people like Trish with the same attitude to giving back to the community. It's about how much she can offer the community rather than what it offers her."
Trish says her volunteering was not about doing good.
"I think it's a selfish thing. To fill in your time yourself, to be of use. You have to have something going on outside the home, it's really avoiding housework," she jokes.
But her admiration for the teaching profession is deep.
"I think teachers are absolutely amazing. They're so dedicated to their role and in the classroom they're so aware of each child, they're real professionals. I'm sure parents are quite unaware of the quality of teachers and their depth of knowledge.
"I just come in and do what I can do."