Awarua Synergy celebrates 15 years of serving Southlanders

08 December 2020
Awarua Synergy celebrates 15 years of serving Southlanders

It all started as a marae-driven initiative to make Bluff homes warmer.

Fifteen years later, we’ve transformed more than 9000 homes across Southland.

It has been a time of reflection for us here at Awarua Synergy as we mark our 15th anniversary this month.

What initially started as a marae-driven goal to make Bluff homes warmer, drier and healthier, has since blossomed into something so much bigger and more beneficial for the region than we ever could have imagined.

Run by Awarua Research and Development, a subsidiary of the Te Runaka o Awarua Charitable Trust, it was 2005 when Awarua Synergy was born out of the Bluff Healthy Homes Project.

When we first started, we were saddened by the amount of people who didn’t understand the importance of having a well insulated home.

But we’ve come such a long way.

Today, our team gets so much satisfaction out of hearing constant feedback from clients who now understand how crucial it is, and are reaping the benefits of a properly insulated home.

Knowing what a difference it makes to whānau – the reward for us is priceless.

Low-income families, young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the impacts of living in cold, damp housing – and that’s something we made a priority to put an end to.

We knew that research showed well insulated houses are drier, warmer, use significantly less energy, and create much healthier environments for families – and it also meant fewer doctors’ visits.

One of the ways we got this information out there was by getting out in the community and providing face-to-face education about the importance of insulation to groups across Southland.

We also got involved in the Southland Housing Action Forum – an initiative which has been leading a concerted approach to tackling wide-ranging housing concerns in the region.

Our Invercargill-based social enterprise has witnessed and been a part of some huge changes in the industry, as well as the ever increasing demand for insulation and heating services. 

The last two years have been busier than ever after we took on the role of offering two new government-funded schemes – the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, and the Healthy Homes Standards for Landlords.

After taking on these schemes and with the additional pressure of Covid-19 – an event which threw a real spanner in the works for businesses – this past winter has been our busiest and most challenging season yet.

While we’re still under the pump with the level of demand and an inevitable delay from overseas suppliers, it’s made us want to work even harder for our customers.

Now more than ever, we’re prioritising New Zealand companies when it comes to sourcing supplies and are backing local as much as we can.

Over the last few years, we have grown to become a significant employer in the industry, giving numerous young Southlanders the opportunity to get their foot in the door and make a start in a trade-based career. 

Now with a 27-person-strong workforce, we have seen many of our staff  who have come from casual employment establish themselves in the insulation industry – an industry which has become a trade in its own right.

As a part of the insulation industry, we have built up our own skilled workforce and provided our staff with the opportunity to gain the qualifications and certifications they need to gain a rewarding career.

While we’ve had our challenges over the past 15 years, our team has shown resilience and developed a strong reputation as a friendly, professional service Southlanders can rely on.

We’re the Southland experts when it comes to helping families, businesses and farms find energy efficiency solutions to a healthier home environment.

So don’t hesitate – for a free home energy assessment, contact our team at Awarua Synergy today.

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