Five Marton mums were up to their elbows in disinfectant and rubber gloves weilding mops and buckets and singing loudly as they scrubbed out the old butcher shop this week.

Lauries Butchers shop has been closed for three years after owner Laurie Hunt retired.

The group of women decided it was the ideal space for their plan to create a soothing, community meeting space.

Lana Anderson known in the group as mumsie said there was a crying need for a community drop-in space in Marton.


"For people to be able to come in and have a chat, a coffee, some quiet time, whatever they want to do. We know there are some lonely older people, mentally challenged people, youth who are at a loose end. We're here to talk with them and hope we can all have a good laugh."

The women were staggered when local businessman Vijay Kumar said they could have the old butcher shop rent free for a year.

"We were so thrilled ...some of us cried were were so happy," she said.

There is also space outside at the back of the shop where they are going to create a special garden.

"A lovely pretty garden to relax in."

They are naming the shop "It's all about you" and hope to have it open within a few weeks.

The women, who have been friends for many years, said they have always caught up with each other regularly.

Eve said it's so lovely to have good friends.


"Friends to talk to, be with, and I think everyone should have this. That's what we want to share...our friendship."

When they moved in to clean the shop they were donated a large can of paint before they were hardly in door said Lana.

The women are hoping locals will donate a few things like furniture and crockery and second hand clothes.

"Well why not we could be a wee shop as well and second hand shops are very popular. We're here to be a comfort, have fun and be good friends," she said.

Lana said the group of women like most people had not been without their problems.

"We all know about mental illness, cancer, financial hardship, the tough breaks that most people get in their lives so when I say we understand we really do."

Marton Businessman Vijay Kumar said his beliefs have always been to keep good things happening and God will bring them back to you.

Vijay ensures he donates to most Marton community groups including all sports groups.
"It is my pleasure. I like to give back to the community. Support and love for people is what I feel is most important in this world."

And he revealed that he is the special entity who has been operating in the Rangitikei district for over three years.

Vijay grinned when he revealed that he is 'the Phantom".

He has been sending beautifully wrapped and ribboned gifts including chocolate to people who have carried out good work in the community.

And in one case it was cash.

Even mayor Andy Watson has received one, in recognition of his hands-on work with people during the flood.

The anonymous gifts were couriered to the person from "the Phantom" and contained a white linen tea towel with an image of the Phantom, a box of chocolates (or wine) and a glossy business card from the Phantom.

"I love to do this. Everyone loves a surprise. I always send them to people who have done good things in the community."

Vijay said he spends between up to $8000 a year in the community.

Helping each other is to bless each other and create good respect, he said.