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30 Nov 2021

Building playhouses for a great cause

Our four Airport Fire Service teams have been working on something a little different lately. Their special task? Build and decorate four playhouses to be auctioned on Trade Me, with all proceeds going to the charity KidsCan.

It’s been all hands on deck lately at the Christchurch Airport fire station, with each team raising the stakes in playhouse construction and design. Their motivation? Raising money for KidsCan – and lunch for the winning team, shouted by their Fire Chief.

The friendly competition is all part of Christchurch Airport’s commitment to supporting our communities and providing team members with a way to give back to the charities their Culture and Engagement Working Party has chosen. Every year the airport supports a number of charities and provides its team members with a range of ways to participate in giving back.

This year, COVID restrictions have made it a little tougher for some airport teams to join in. With the Airport Fire Service team restricted to their ‘bubbles’ and unable to mix for a portion of time this past year, the airport wanted to give them something unique to work on for charity.

Enter four kitset playhouses, ready to be built, embellished and decorated. Kylie Frisby, People and Culture Manager for Christchurch Airport, explains.

"We wanted to find something really special our airport fire crews could really own and do within the confines of the fire station. They're very service oriented, work well together as a team and lots of them are parents themselves, so building playhouses for a children’s charity seemed like the perfect idea."

- Kylie Frisby

Christchurch Airport purchased four kitset playhouses – one for each fire crew – and had them delivered to the fire station. Each team were given Bunnings vouchers for additional materials and allowed free creative reign which they applied with great vigour.

"We gave them the raw materials and they added the creative flair!" says Kylie. "Each playhouse is totally unique. They've really gone above and beyond and what the teams have created have surpassed all expectations. A lot of our firefighters have other trade skills like carpentry, and that really comes across in the quality of what they’ve produced."

With the finishing touches complete, the playhouses are now up for sale on Trade Me. The auctions will run until Sunday 5th December, and any local sales will be hand delivered by the firefighters themselves.

All proceeds will go to KidsCan, to help Kiwi children affected by poverty get a fair start in life.

"KidsCan does amazing work for tamariki in New Zealand and I’m really pleased we are able to be supporting them for the first time through this employee initiative.” says Kylie. “Playhouses are hot property at Christmastime and it will be neat to see these creations achieve bigger things when they join a few lucky families."

- Kylie Frisby

Jason Mooney, Christchurch Airport Fire Officer, says the project has been a ton of fun and huge boost for team morale. “One of the greatest parts of the playhouse idea was seeing the team have such a fun time. It’s been a complete team effort. Ehara taku toa I te takitahi, engari, he toa takitini / Success is not the work of one, but the work of many.”

We can’t wait to see kids’ faces light up at the sight of these playful creations. Which one is your favourite? Keep an eye on the auctions and see if you can pick the winner!