Giving back to the community is an important part of business at Pinewoods Motor Park, a long established popular holiday spot on the Hibiscus Coast.
There has been a recreation area on the Pinewoods site from as far back as 1900 and the current managers, Stephan and Shirley Green are keeping the tradition alive in a number of ways that benefit the people who live nearby and the wider community.
The couple have managed the park for 13 years and began thinking about how they could ‘give back’ when they started working towards an Enviro Award with Qualmark. They now hold a 4 Star Silver Sustainable Tourism Business Award, winning praise from their Tourism Business Advisor for their efforts.
One easy way they found they could help was by recycling their linen by donating it to the local community house when they are upgrading linen at Pinewoods. “There is nothing wrong with the linen and the community house really appreciates it,” says Shirley.
Working with the local Lions club and the Immune Deficiencies Foundation of New Zealand (IDFNZ) / KIDS Foundation registered charity, they have also made a three bedroom unit available as a respite home for use by families of children and teenagers diagnosed with Primary Immune Deficiency disorders.
Shirley says: “It’s good to be able to help people who are tired and stressed from coping with a sick child or teenager. The unit is in a quiet, lovely location and it means that families can just relax or be part of what’s going on here, enjoying everything at the park if they want to. People are very grateful that they can come here and for us, it’s just worth it to be able to help.”
"Stephan and Shirley are angels to our families! Over the last 10 years we have had hundreds of families stay at this wonderful facility; Stephan and Shirley welcome each family with open arms and make each stay a joy for the families. Children recovering from a bone marrow transplant or liver transplant can be in hospital for 6-12 months; families endure so much stress it is important that they have quiet time to recover and recuperate as a family – Pinewoods is a safe haven which helps this healing process. We are privileged to have found such a special location for our respite home."IDFNZ General Manager Janet Simons
Pinewoods also run a holiday programme over the summer season that’s open to the local community. “I think we have built up a really good relationship with people around the Red Beach community. On Christmas Eve we had carol singing and lots of the local people were here. On New Year’s Eve we had a band playing and probably about 100 of the people here were locals. “We have people from all over the world staying here and it’s great for them to be able to mix with the local people here,” says Shirley.
Employing locals within the business at Pinewoods is another reason the park fits in well with the local community. “We try to employ up to nine locals where we can over the peak times.”
Pinewoods is increasingly popular with overseas visitors who arrive in Auckland, pick up rental and head north. “We have people staying on their way north who then book in to stay again when they are returning to Auckland. It just means we get to know people a little bit and hear about their experiences here,” says Shirley.
Shirley and Stephan love Pinewoods and the location. “It’s just 35 minutes from Auckland but it’s a different world.” The couple are now planning for future developments at Pinewoods. They like the approach Qualmark is taking which they feel provides a more balanced overview of business and they enjoy having access to valuable business advice and support.