A unique craft beer is the first business venture for six people from Kāpiti who have banded together to boost their employment opportunities.

Neville Pugh, Nathan Martin, Janie Martin, Cameron Stichbury, Tyler Johns and Paul Ashton, who have intellectual disabilities, haven't found it easy to get fulltime work.

So they had a brainstorming session and formed The Independence Collective.

The goal for the group is to become business owners, which in turn will increase their opportunity for financial independence.


The group's first business opportunity is craft beer.

The group approached George Duncan, the owner of Duncan's Brewing Company, in Paraparaumu, who agreed to contract brew for them.

After a blind taste test of a number of beers to decide what type of beer to brew, they decided on a pale ale.

Another meeting with George was held to discuss what The Independence Collective represented and the sort of flavours they wanted in their first contract brew.

George will create the unique beer, called Neville, with the help of the group, before they market and sell it.

The group, which has been getting lots of community support from individuals and groups including the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce, was excited about their venture.

"A lot of my friends have said its a great idea and good luck," Nathan said.

Janie said the venture was exciting as it had been a struggle finding employment.

"About three weeks ago I handed out 20 CVs in one day and I haven't heard a peep."

A PledgeMe fundraising launch for The Independence Collective gets underway at Southward Car Museum on Thursday from 7pm to 9pm.

Tickets are $20 each and can be bought at the door or online via the group's Facebook page The Independence Collective.

Money raised will help them finance their first batch of beer.

The group is looking at other initiatives, including an online fashion label.