04 December 2023

Contact spreads Christmas cheer for children at Taupō Women’s Refuge

As part of its ongoing partnership with Women’s Refuge, Contact Energy (Contact) is bringing children at the Te Whare Oranga Wairua - Māori Women's Refuge Taupō a little extra Christmas magic this year.

The team at Contact’s geothermal sites in Taupō have been collecting gifts for tamariki who will be staying at Te Whare Oranga Wairua, one of the 40 Women’s Refuges across New Zealand, over the Christmas period.

Contact targeted gift donations for older kids, who often get overlooked when people donate gifts to the refuge.

“It’s so wonderful that Contact is helping us to make Christmas a bit better for the women and children in our refuge,” says Aleen Henderson-Hanley, Manager at Te Whare Oranga Wairua.

“Christmas can be a hard time for a lot of people, so this is a great initiative to help those who need it most. We usually get lots of gift donations for the younger children, so it’s fantastic that the older children staying with us will get to feel some extra love too.”

Contact spreads Christmas cheer for children at Taupō Women’s Refuge

Mike Stevens - Head of Geothermal Generation at Contact, Ashley Mailer and Rob Akuhata from Te Whare Oranga Wairua - Māori Women's Refuge Taupō, and Sam Shortland – Community Relations Advisor at Contact

Women’s Refuge tends to see an uptake in women needing its services at this time of the year.  It is expected that more than 5,250 women and children across New Zealand will seek refuge to stay safe from family violence over the holidays.

“Kiwi homes should be warm, connected and most importantly safe.  In our partnership with Women’s Refuge we know that this is not the reality for many”, says Mike Stevens, Head of Geothermal Generation at Contact.  “We’re really proud of our partnership with Women’s Refuge and that we can provide them with support over the Christmas period.”

“Our people at our Wairakei, Te Mihi and Te Huka sites did a fantastic job organising gifts for children spending Christmas at the Taupō Women’s Refuge, from toiletries to arts items and sports equipment.”

Since Contact’s partnership with Women’s Refuge began in July 2022, the energy provider has been gifting free electricity and broadband to the social service organisation’s 70 safe houses and refuges across the country.

In November, Contact donated $50,000 to Women’s Refuge to mark the charity’s 50th anniversary. This money provided 2,500 nights of safety for women and children, including a clean bed, hot food, transport and much-needed support. This brings the total amount of Safe Nights that Contact has donated to more than 25,000 since its partnership with Women’s Refuge began.

Women's Refuge is calling on December and January babies to share their birthday with them, as part of its Summer Appeal. The campaign will let Kiwis give Safe Nights as birthday presents, over the festive period. More information can be found at https://safenight.nz/



Media enquiries

Lotty Hird
Senior Communications Advisor
M: 027 207 8684
E: lotty.hird@contactenergy.co.nz



About Contact

Contact Energy is one of New Zealand’s largest energy retailer and generators. We have more than 580,000 connections with electricity, gas, broadband and mobile. Our vision is to build a better Aotearoa New Zealand by leading New Zealand’s decarbonisation journey. We believe home is the most important place in the world. It’s all part of our long-term vision to create and contribute to a better New Zealand; from the homes and communities we live in, to the land and resources that future generations can enjoy.

Website: contact.co.nz 
More information can be found in Contact’s 2023 Integrated Report 



About Women’s Refuge

Established in 1973, the charity started out by women and children escaping domestic violence staying with other women and children. Today, there are 40 Refuges across the motu from Kaitaia to Invercargill. They provide a wide range of services including help accessing healthcare and counselling, budgeting advice, assisting with protection orders and other legal matters, finding a place to live, funding for children’s activities, and support with basics like food and clothing.

Over the years, the charity has played a key role in advocating for changes to the law to protect victims of family violence.

  • On average, 50,000 women and children are referred to Women’s Refuge each year.
  • On average Women’s Refuge answers 71 crisis calls per day.
  • New Zealand has the highest rates of family violence in the OECD.
  • 1 in 3 women will experience abuse in their lifetime in Aotearoa.
  • Nearly half of all homicides and reported violent crimes are related to family violence.
  • Around 67% of family violence episodes go unreported.

Website: https://womensrefuge.org.nz/