In 1993, Waitakere City Council Deputy Mayor, Dorothy Wilson, organised a meeting of interested persons and community groups to decide on ways to commemorate Women’s Suffrage Year.
This public meeting was held at the Waitakere City Council Chambers on 15 March 1993 and was followed up by a second meeting on 29 March 1993.
At both these meetings, people formed discussion groups on diverse subjects but all relating to women.
In the "Health" group Liz Francke, a New Lynn Community Board member, voiced concern that a service was needed to help parents in times of stress. These were usually young Mothers with no close relatives, neighbours nor friends to call on when they needed a little bit of help.
Barbara Harvey, wife of Mayor Bob Harvey, told Liz that there was such a group over on the North Shore called Parent Port.
Liz was delighted to hear this and after making contact with Parent Port to find out more, she got together a small group of people to work on the possible formation of a service for Waitakere City, under the banner of Parent Port.
The group met regularly at the Council Offices (in the reception area upstairs) to plan the service. Parent Port would not allow the West Auckland group to use its name, so at the beginning of August 1993 the name Parent Aid was adopted. The group then set about applying to various sources for money.
Liz Francke was Secretary! Myra Browniees the Chairman and Joan Gaskell Treasurer. The other members were Joan O'Keeffe of the Epilepsy Association who continues still to be actively involved on the committee, Evelyn Taumant of the Maori Womens Welfare League, Lynn Hickey a social worker who as part her qualifications needed to take part in the formation of a new social service, plus a few extra people from time to time
It was agreed that the name be Parent Aid Waitakere, and on 9 December 1993 a bank account was opened. The first major funding, :$10,000 from COGS (Community Organisations Grants Scheme) was deposited on 31 December.
Liz Francke had been busy canvassing businesses to become Sponsors, in that they would pay a set amount on a regular basis, and for that would display a special "We Sponsor Parent Aid" window sticker.
First to sign up were Tina. & Paul Richards of Physical Health Club in January 1994, then Norman Wallace of Titirangi Private Kindergarten and Mike Carter of Titirangi Pharmacy in February 1994.
The Richards, of Club Physical, and Mike Carter of Titirangi Pharmacy are still contributing as our only sponsors.
The logo had been specially designed by Heather Brown_and Greenleaf Press of Avondale produced our first batch of letterhead paper and business cards.
With money in the bank and a keen committee, it became apparent that workers could be employed and work could then commence.
After special induction training, for two days, in early August, five workers were taken on and the first in-home care was carried out in Mid August 1994. Four of these workers finished within a few months, but Evelyn Kite remained as an enthusiastic worker for 10 months.
Myra Brownlees had taken on the vital role of Coordinator, her home in Te Atatu Peninsular being the base for the initial telephone contact. She held this position until March 1998.
The pamphlet was designed by Joan Gaskell with one proviso that it always be produced on coloured paper. Yellow and gold the prime preference. This pamphlet acknowledges the major funders and in the middle of 1997 the pamphlet was translated into the Samoan language.
According to the laws of the country, the group had to be officially registered and the Inaugural Meeting was held at the Waitakere City Council Chambers on the evening of Wednesday November 2nd 1994. Thirty-five people
attended, with apologies from 25 other interested persons. Parent Aid Waitakere Incorporated was officially formed and the Constitution adopted.
Incorporation of the Society was registered as at 3rd February 1995.
Those elected at the Inaugural meeting were : Chairperson Liz Francke, Secretary Evelyn Taumanu, Treasurer Joan Gaskell, with a committee of 10.
In August 1995 the first Annual General Meeting was held, Liz Francke was re-elected Chairperson and Joan Gaekell became joint Secretary/Treasurer. These two members are still carrying on their roles.
The longest-serving fieldworker is Elsie Clarke who joined in March 1995. Second-longest serving in the "hands-on" capacity is Loga Crichton who joined the team in June 1995 as a fieldworker and who took over as Coordinator from the end of March 1998.
We currently have six field workers. The service is funded by donations and grants, and we have had good responses from ASB Charitable Trust, NZ Lottery Grants Board, Waitakere City Council, Waitakere and Portage Licensing Trusts, COGS and the JR McKenzie Trust, plus several other supportive groups and businesses.
Our biggest funder (providing approximately one-third of our total expenses) is the Department of Child, Youth & Family Services (formerly NZ Community Funding Agency of the Department of Social Welfare). As a contracted service provider we had to produce a comprehensive document called the Key Operating Policies, Procedures & Control Systems (KOPPS), which we have to always comply with, covering such things as paramountcy, cultural appropriateness, recruitment and training of staff, reports, statistics, financial management, complaints and safety. Fortunately we were officially approved. Each year we sign a contract as a service provider and are given a grant.
As a charitable organisation, donations over 4;5 are tax rebateable. Unfortunately we have to pay GST on local body and government grants.
In 1996, a group of young mothers in Whangaparaoa sought our help for starting a service, and Coordinator Myra and Treasurer Joan spent time to guide them towards the establishment of a Parent Aid service. We gave them permission to use our logo and Hibiscus Coast Parent Aid Incorporated has now been operating for three years.
(to September 2000.)
Statistics : 300 families (600 visits)
JD% European, 201 Maori, 20% Pacific Island, 30% others. 19 November, Westfield Works Wonders, first fundraising venture very suc3essful. Second Westfield Works Wonders, November 2001, less successful.
During 2001 a group of Helensville people, with a lot of guidance from Joan Gaskell, progressed into the eventual inauguration of Parent Aid Kaipara, on 8 April 2002, based in Helensville.
2002 : 600 callouts. 60% European, 30% Maori & Pacific Island, 10% others.
2003 Coordinator Loga Crichton resigned and Lyn Torckler took over.
Assistance to another Parent Aid group given willingly as this group meets the Waitakere City border at Portage Road New Lynn. Parent Aid Central West, Auckland began and covers Avondale, Waterview, Mt Roskill etc.
Our PARENT AID logo is used by Parent Aid Kaipara, and Parent Aid Central West, Auckland, but Hibiscus Coast Parent Aid changed this to incorporate an adult male as they had branched out into family work.
New funders United Way, the Southern Trust, Century Foundation, Lion Foundation, NZ Federation of Graduate Women, Auckland Branch,
2004 : Ten years Anniversary Celebration, Wednesday 11 August, at Waitakere City Council Chambers, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.