For 10 years, the Flaxmere Heroes calendar has been a beacon of light for a suburb often stigmatised.

More than 120 of the suburb's finest have been recognised over the years.

Mia and Jay Tere, Directors JMia Automotive Service Ltd with their staff. Photo / Warren Buckland
Mia and Jay Tere, Directors JMia Automotive Service Ltd with their staff. Photo / Warren Buckland

It was born out of the 2008 hikoi organised by Flaxmere councillor Henare O'Keefe, after a spate of violence in the suburb, including a home invasion in which his daughter was threatened and her partner badly beaten.

Among those featured in the 2020 iteration are Lynsey and Haira Abbott from One voice Community Services, Mia and Jay Tere, Directors JMia Automotive Service Ltd and the team at Family Start from Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.

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O'Keefe said it highlights the "wonderful jewels" of Flaxmere.

"On occasions, Flaxmere is much aligned for the wrong reasons, but the calendar certainly sends a signal to all and sundry that Flaxmere is a great place to work, to live, and to play."

Family Start team at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga. Photo / Warren Buckland
Family Start team at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga. Photo / Warren Buckland

He said they have "hardly scratched the surface". "There is no shortage of heroes and heroines, never has been."

He said he has already had two nominations for the 2021 calendar.