SunLive         

Cutting to the chase in Tauranga

Ingrid Klein-Ovink, Fleur Bos, Brendon Gollop, Todd Rowling and Angela Rogers.

The grass is always greener on the other side.

This is not great if you live on the other side and don’t have a lawn mower.

‘Lawn poverty’ is growing out of control in many parts of Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty but a group of volunteers is hoping to get on top of it.

Good Neighbour marketing coordinator Angela Rogers says they are looking for lawn mower donations because it is a real problem for many people.

“They have grass growing around the window sills. When it’s $60 to hire a lawn mower (service) 
or $350 to buy one, they just can’t do it.

“There is quite a need in the community.”

Good neighbour has grown to include 500 volunteers and 13 staff over the last few years,  concentrating on practical projects and food rescue.

It is also running a similar programme with bicycles.

“We have no idea of the level of poverty in Tauranga… it’s outrageous. These guys can’t afford bikes and lawn mowers.”

It has run a lawn mower lending service for the past two years but for many people it is simply not practical to pick them up and drop them off.

“Over the years we have developed a relationship with families and now we would like to lift the burden of having to borrow one or hire one or trying to buy one as it’s simply something they can’t afford to do.”

Angela is hoping there are plenty of people out there with lawn mowers they no longer need, either because they have moved to a smaller place or they hire someone to do it. Line trimmers and other garden equipment are also welcome.

They will also take in older lawn mowers which are inspected by sponsor Action Equipment, and then sent off to the maintenance team with all the necessary parts to fix them.

Every lawn mower will come with a petrol can and a set of earmuffs and they are seeking donations to help fund that.

“Help us to get people the tools they need to take pride in their properties and lend their lawn mowers around their neighbours too.

“One lawn mower will help much more than one property.”

All three Action Equipment branches are agents for the lawn mower initiative so people can drop them off to 15 Glasgow St in Tauranga, 108 Main Rd Katikati or 271 Jellicoe St in Te Puke.

Once volunteers have prepared the lawn mowers, they will send referral forms out to Good Neighbour’s 70 recipient charities and organisations which will be able to refer the clients they wish to be considered.

The lawn mowers will be delivered in time for Christmas.

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