There were hugs, high-fives and tears shed as a number of Rotorua pupils got their hands on new bikes, gifted to them by Lockwood Homes.

The national conference of Lockwood Homes was held at its headquarters in Rotorua at the end of last week.

As part of the conference a team building exercise is held, and this year's challenge was to earn the points to get parts in order to build complete bicycles, which were then given to Sunset Primary School pupils.

Lockwood Homes national marketing manager Victoria Jessop says the children were chuffed when they realised they were receiving the bikes, and it was a surprise for the Lockwood staff too.


"It was quite a surprise when the children came in. The children thought they were here to do a performance, and the staff didn't know what was happening either.

"At the end of it there was not a dry eye in the place.

"These little ones were absolutely stoked."

She says the national conference is a nice time for all staff and the network to connect and work as a team, and it is lovely to add this charity aspect to the event.

"We've done all sorts of teambuilding challenges over the years and if we are going to spend that time, money and effort then all the better if we can give back at the same time."

Lockwood Homes managing director Andrew La Grouw says it feels good to present the children with these new bikes.

"No one here knew what we were doing, it was a surprise for them as well. There were a few tears."

Sunset Primary School principal Eden Chapman says as a school they are determined to provide opportunities for their tamariki and do everything that they can to address some of the inequities the pupils face.


"For the Lockwood Group to donate nine brand new bikes to some of our young people is so exciting.

"I hope the company is proud that they have done something really positive to support children in the community."

Eden says the school put all the 5 to 7-year-old students' names into a box and did a draw to see who would receive one.

He says they posted a video of the draw to the school Facebook page and it created a lot of excitement for their whānau.

"I know for many of our students they may not have a bike of their own, let alone a new bike, so they were so delighted to be given one by strangers."

The Rotorua Lakes Council is working on plans for a bike track around the school's field as part of the Child Equity Programme council started with Sunset Primary School.

Lockwood Homes timber machinist Court Marsters says building the bikes was for a good cause and it felt good giving them to the children.

"We got hugs and high-fives. It was a great bonding sessions with everyone and great to put us out of our comfort zone."

Team Up Events facilitator Danny Kettoola says this has been one of his favourite events.

He says there was shock on the children's faces and they could not believe they were going to be taking the bikes home.

"It's really cool to see not just one group from the company, it's something that brings everyone together, and such an experience is always special and quite touching."