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‘Refreshed’ Arohanui reopening


The Arohanui Hospice Shop in Ōtaki celebrates 10 years in July and is revamping its store to better cater for customers and provide safer working conditions for staff.

The store opened in 2013 and has become an integral part of the Ōtaki Village shopping scene. It is one of four shops run by the Palmerston North-based Arohanui Hospice – the others being in Levin, Feilding and Palmerston North.

The stores generate valuable income for the hospice, which needs up to $4.5 million a year to provide services to individuals and whānau who need help when dealing with terminal illness.

OPEN DOOR: Ōtaki Arohanui Hospice Shop manager Jennie Harris at the Ōtaki store, due to reopen on Wednesday, April 12.

Photo Ōtaki Today

The Ōtaki store has been closed since April 3 for a big refurbishment and was scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, April 12. During the closure all the saleable items have been stored so the carpet can be cleaned and a new store layout completed.

Volunteers from the Ōtaki MenzShed are doing most of the manual labour, including painting and installation of several huge display panels and shelving sourced second-hand when a Palmerston North retailer closed down.

The MenzShed also has support from the Levin Masonic Lodge to help out (the Ōtaki Lodge disbanded several years ago), as well as shop staff, volunteers and family members. Financial support has come from NZ Paint Co on Riverbank Road, Hammer Hardware and Ōtaki Secure Storage

“We’ve been going for 10 years and our team agreed this is a good time to refresh the store,” says Jennie Harris, who has been shop manager since May 2022. “We’ll have a bit more structure – how we accept and process donations, display good for sale and serve our customers.”

There will now be two fitting rooms with a bright, fresh look.

Goods are donated from the community every day, requiring many hours to check. The revamped layout will provide better processing of them.

Everything coming in the door has to be checked to see that it is safe to use, clean and in good condition. Washing, cleaning and repair is often needed.

The store aims to minimise waste and rubbish by gifting materials unsuitable for sale to people and to other businesses. In the past six months, rubbish collection costs have been halved.

A new dedicated sorting area and bench will be installed for testing of appliances and other electrical goods. The tests are provided free of charge by Brent O’Hagan Electrical.

The previous sewing room, used for repairs and upcycling of fabrics, is to become a library space where books, DVDs, CBs, tapes and records can be processed and stored before sale.

The larger, bright and airy staff room, rather than being home to books and electrical goods for sorting, will now contain the sewing room with more space for creativity.

“Volunteers remain our lifeline, but we know there is a shortage of volunteers everywhere,” Jennie says. “To enable our shop to remain open six days a week, we now have have a minimum of four paid staff over a two-week roster.

“Ideally we would have eight people on every day, which would allow us to get everything done in a relaxed and fun way. We are appealing for anyone who is able to gift the Arohunui shop some time – whether just an hour or more a day or a month – to drop in, have a chat with one of the staff and pick up an application form.”

All money raised through sales at the Ōtaki Arohanui Hospice op shop is returned to the Ōtaki community to provide care and support for patients and whānau during their hospice journey.




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‘Refreshed’ Arohanui reopening

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