An Auckland trust has bought a Rotorua house and converted it into a holiday retreat for its staff to show appreciation for the work they do with South Auckland's most vulnerable.
Strive Community Trust chief executive Sharon Wilson-Davis confirmed the trust had bought a six-bedroom Lynmore property this year to serve as an "affordable holiday retreat" for its 80 staff and their families.
"Rotorua was always our first choice for our holiday home given its natural beauty, fun attractions, amazing hot pools and it being just three hours drive from Auckland."
In kitting out the house, Wilson-Davis employed Rotorua-based businesses and tradesmen to lay new carpet, install security locks, air-con, heating, undertake building, fencing and garden work, service the spa and acquire household furniture.
Wilson-Davis was also seeking to appoint a part-time caretaker to look after the property.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the friendly and professional service I have received."
Wilson-Davis said the trust had named the home Redwood Retreat and said staff were "chomping at the bit to stay".
When asked why she chose Rotorua, Wilson-Davis said the city was always at the top of the list for her family's holidays.
"For many years Rotorua has always been a favourite holiday destination for my family, as it still is for so many other Kiwis.
"It doesn't matter if our staff can't afford to do the luge or other attractions, there are the beautiful lakes a short drive away and the forest is right in the backyard.
"Our frontline staff are often working with the hardest, most dysfunctional and saddest cases and I am so very proud of the work they do.
"This is our way of putting our money where our mouth is. We don't care if we don't make a profit on the house, this is our way of showing our staff how much we appreciate them.
"As an organisation, it is easy to get stuck in a rut and think, 'oh, I'll just give them a pay rise' but there are things that are worth more than money. This holiday home will give our staff a chance to recharge and enjoy some time away."
Wilson-Davis said, post-Covid, it was more important for companies to look at the way they operated.
"I hope other organisations will see this and think about what they could do to show their staff they care about them as much as they care about their clients."
Strive Community Trust had been providing services that collectively address the social, economic, education and cultural needs of all people in its community since 1986.
Since 2017, Strive had also been involved in the provision of transitional housing.