Generites Stories

A collection of stories of courageous Kiwis and innovative projects to get you inspired.

  • 23rd September 2021
    “Made in the Dark” are a husband and wife team; Mara Tauilili Smitlen and Tologataua Natopai Tauiliili Smilten (Norman). Norman is completely blind and Mara has limited vision. For the past ten years, Norman has designed and made handwoven bags from strapping tape. Mara finishes and decorates them.  The bags include handbags, shopping bags (in response to the removal of plastic bags) and sturdy laundry bags. The bags sell like hot cakes in New Zealand and Samoa.
  • 23rd September 2021
    Due to the cost of living, Tania (Nia) and her cousin Nina needed to generate more income for their families. Tania also wanted funds to enable her autistic son to attend a programme that would better meet his learning needs, but she needed more income in order to cover the cost. With the help of the Generator, Tania and Nina set up NiuEats to bring Polynesia to the plate through desserts, platterboards and grazing tables. In December 2019 NiuEats had their first corporate catering with Air New Zealand and continue to grow in popularity.
  • 22nd September 2021
    Papamama Pokino (Pa) moved to Aotearoa New Zealand from Rarotonga in 2017.  After a period of personal challenges he renewed his interest in making Pareu Boards - wooden boards used for creating traditional clothing to earn money to support his wife and family. He credits The Generator with not only enabling him to purchase essential work materials, but introducing him to financial support, workshops and the communities where he can sell his boards. Pa says he is now selling boards faster than he can make them and may need to hire staff.
  • 11th September 2021
    Lekooti (Reco) Tonga is proud of his Tongan language and heritage. The Generator has helped Reco to utilise his skills and knowledge as a welder fabricator to establish PRM. PRM is a micro-enterprise where Reco manufactures pig spits so families can roast their own pigs and cater for the many events Pasifika celebrate throughout the year.
  • 28th August 2021
    The Generator has enabled Maraea Hawea to bring MC Leathers to life. MC Leathers has successfully combined Maraea’s love for Aotearoa, Māori culture and design. It’s a winning combination with her stock flying off the shelf around New Zealand and across the Tasman.
  • 20th August 2021
    In Whanganui, George Jackson is preserving the traditional art of rewena breadmaking. Thanks to the Generator, George Jackson is preserving the traditional art of rewena breadmaking using a recipe handed down to him by his Grandmother. He is now able to share his authentic Jackson’s Rewena Bread with his tamariki, whānau and Whanganui community. In fact, Jackson’s authentic Rewena Bread is so popular he has supermarket chains interested too.
  • 7th August 2021
    Tangianau Kokaua too takes the humble Cook Island donut to the next level through Tangeez Donutz. With an ever increasing army of faithful followers, Tangianau struggles to meet demand, hand kneading 1500 donuts every Saturday. Juliana Henry sells her revamped Island donuts in the one and only Pasifika food store in Pukekohe, Lil Chef's Kitchen. Her donuts are legendary. Foodies travel over 30kms for her Island inspired donut experience.
  • 12th June 2021
    The Generator process has enabled Kay and Joe (Pito Press) to grow their hobby into a flourishing design, writing and publications enterprise in Whanganui..
  • 29th April 2021
    The Generator and LaValla provided the support that has enabled the Kai Sisterz to move from a fledgling part-time catering team in 2020 to a prosperous and sustainable social enterprise today. April 2020 Lockdown During 2020 lockdown Kai Sisterz and LaValla worked in partnership with the Generator, Foundation North and the Council to produce 2000 emergency meals a week (approximately 13,000 in total). Above is their story. Fast forward to April 2021 The partnership has blossomed. Kai Sisterz (Click this link for their story in Oct 2020) have joined LaValla’s catering team and last week the partnership launched a commercial community kitchen to deliver a full time local community catering contract and provide access for locals.
  • 1st April 2021
    Paetuia: Lee Williams stitches together a micro-enterprise. Paetuia: The Realm of Sewing, Whanganui. Lee Williams returned to her home town of Whanganui to be close to her children and mokopuna. In the lockdown last year, Lee lost her community employment. She decided the solution was to set up her own micro-enterprise, Paetuia. This enterprise would enable her to weave together her lifetime of skills and experience as a sewer and costume designer, that she could share with her community through face to face and online workshops. The Whanganui community got in behind Lee, provided disused industrial sewing machines and a space. The Generator provided tools, resources and support too. The gift is that the disused space and tables Lee now uses were once occupied by a thriving business, where her Mother worked many years ago…standing at the same tables… cutting and sewing fabric.
  • 27th March 2021
    The Generator, Ministry of Social Development, Vaka Tautua and Monte Cecilia provide the stepping stones that enable Ann Gafo and her children to move from despair to a future filled with safety, hope and promise. Ann and her family moved to New Zealand four years ago. After living with family in temporary conditions and a rental property that was hazardous to their health, MSD provided the Gafo family with emergency housing until the Monte Cecilia Housing Trust re-homed them. Throughout this journey Ann did what she knew best to help make ends meet- she sewed. In 2020 the Generator provided Ann with the resources she needed and her home sewing business, La Norah’s Sewing and Crafts, has blossomed.
  • 13th March 2021
    Generite: Te Hira Horua-Waiariki Ko Ngati Porou, ko Tūhoe potiki e mihi atu nei. No Te Wairoa ahau. Ko Te Hira Horua ahau. While living in Wairoa, 1 began my Generator journey late in 2019. At the time I was on a benefit and supporting my whānau through challenges, but had a dream to be a film maker and digital warrior. The Generator enabled me to purchase a camera to set up “At the Bay Productions”, a video and photography enterprise. Unfortunately, after getting a few weddings and events under my belt- COVID 19 Level 4 lockdown hit, and, my work dried up overnight. But I didn’t give up. I used the Generator camera to make a short film, Youth of the Day, which featured at the Wairoa Short Film Festival. I also took up a 12 month digital apprenticeship with Koru Digital; an MSD and Provincial Growth Fund project in Wairoa. Now everything has come together for me. Creating that short film with the help of Māoriland, means I am now a part of their Rangatahi Film Crew, Nga Pakiaka. I am proud to be helping facilitate one of the biggest Indigenous film festivals in the southern hemisphere this year. Along side that as I finish my apprenticeship, I will be crowdfunding to start a Creative Hub; a music, film and game production company called “Kumara Productions” in Wairoa.
  • 19th December 2020
    Part Three: Journey Towards Better Futures Local Board, Council and Business Association collaborate with Generites to transform the local town centre and economy Franklin Local Board, Panuku (Auckland Council) and Pukekohe Business Association hear the Franklin Generator’s stories. As a result the Generites have now been invited to be part of the consultation, development and testing of the Pukekohe town re-design. Mia King, The Generator Expert Coach Danyelle Hughes, The Sugar Box Henare Tuwhangi, Squad Chat Inc Mauriora Kaihau, Kapukeke Custom Bakes Aroha Nepia, Eco Pristine Cleaning Services, Franklin Juliana Henry, Little Chef’s Kitchen
  • 18th November 2020
    Part Two: - Council and local Boards working alongside the Generator. See Auckland Council and Franklin Local Board connect, listen and identify support and opportunities for collaboration with local Generites.
  • 10th November 2020
    Part One: Makareti Skipper- Ataahua Sweets and Treats Makareti Skipper is a young Mum studying a Bachelor of Social Work via distance learning with Massey University. Having come from a childhood spent in foster care, Makareti wants to create a positive life for her whānau. so she created a home-based micro-enterprise called Ataahua Sweets N Treats specializing in making homemade Pavlova that she can fit in alongside her family and studies.
  • 5th November 2020
    On the 8 October, 2020 Kai Sisterz's #Generites celebrated their one anniversary with The Generator. The Generator provided stepping stones to increase their wellbeing, knowledge skills and income, which includes helping to establish a community kitchen and securing a long term full-time contract for 2021. The video shows you their journey and growth and how The Generator has changed their minds and lives and that of many others too (See below). TRANSITIONED OFF THE BENEFIT TAIRAWHITI - Joanne Jo-Anne Campbell-dyer- Jo_Anne’s Grassroots Arts and Crafts, East Cape - Lynda Akuhata -Brown ENABLED ACCESS TO PROVINCIAL GROWTH FUND - Ripeka and Leonard Walker East Cape Camp Grounds FROM OUT OF WORK TO EMPLOYMENT IN WAIROA - Amanda Claire - Wātea Yoga and Holistic Wellbeing Hub Te Hira Horua-Waiariki At the Bay Productions and Korou Digital Agency apprentice then salesman - Josh and Arlou Brooking, Str8native - Cristall Brooking McClutchie, Coffee That FROM THE BENEFIT TO EMPLOYMENT - SOUTH AUCKLAND - Peter Lilo WHANGANUI - John Wilson – Sourbros WAIROA - Amanda Clare Watea Studio Te Hire Horua-Waiariki
  • 16th October 2020
    Enabling Better Futures for All On the East Cape, The Generator has been used as a tool to enable hapu enterprise and development to flourish “enabling better futures for all. ” Hear from Ani Pahuru-Huriwai - REAP Tumuaki and Te Aroha Kanarahi Trust Project Hoake/The Generator - Project Manager and members of her hapu about the positive impact the Generator is having on their lives and futures. Jo-Anne Campbell-dyer- Jo_Anne’s Grassroots Arts and Crafts Ripeka and Leonard Walker East Cape Camp Grounds Josh and Arlou Brooking, Str8native Tor Bjorn Ahman and Joshua Hovell Lightshift Pictures Cristall Brooking McClutchie, Coffee That The Generator wishes to thank the Innovation Fund for their ongoing support and encouragement.
  • 1st September 2020
    Matt and his family struggled to make ends meet as he was on a minimum wage working with a roofer. The Generator helped Matt and his whanau set up their own roofing business themselves and linked him to a business mentor in the industry. His partner does the books for the business and his brother in law was able to move off the benefit and work with him.
  • 30th August 2019
    The Papatoetoe Food Hub is located in the heart of Old Papatoetoe next to the Auckland Teaching Gardens on an under-utilised piece of council land and has the aim of making it easier for people to get good kai, at a time when the community is saturated with unhealthy food options.
  • 29th August 2019
    Members of the Generator share stories about their experiences bringing their ideas to life. Listen to the stories of others and get inspired by some of the amazing mahi that they are doing.
  • 15th August 2019
    Raquel tells the story of her journey on the Generator. Her dream was to create her own dance academy. Here she explains she used the Generator to help bring Kohatu Dance Company to life.
  • 16th January 2019
    The story of a young wahine who combined her passion for teaching, kids and yoga to build her Yoga Warriors business in Christchurch. She says that it's about finding different tools and better tools to be able to live a better life. "Being a young Māori woman, going out there, doing the mahi and just being a bit of a role model for those other young generation coming up."