Work under way on the Te Awamutu units. 

While most people were relaxing for the long weekend, an all-women team from the Waikato and Tauranga branch of the newly formed NZ Women in Roofing(NZWiR) were giving their time and the gift of installing a much-needed roof for people in need in their community.

For most of Saturday and the first half of Sunday, the team of 7 worked as the temperature soared putting a new roof on an iconic building in Te Awamutu.

They partnered with Habitat for Humanity to reroof 210 Palmer St, a block of units that offer affordable housing to elderly residents.

The team on the tools and volunteering their time were all from the Roofing Association of NZ (RANZ) member businesses; Cooke Roofing, Project Unite and Stone Roofing.

The seven members of the NZ Women in Roofing Waikato and Tauranga branch who put the new roof on the Habitat for Humanity units.

Habitat for Humanity Central North Island general manager Nic Greene said: “The Palmer Street units are an icon of Te Awamutu, and form part of our accommodation precinct for older people alongside Freeman Court. After years of council ownership, we were recently pleased to take over and look to make much-needed upgrades.

“Ensuring weathertightness is the first crucial element of ensuring a decent place to live, and so we were immensely grateful when New Zealand Woman in Roofing offered to help us achieve that with a re-roof of one of the blocks, giving up their long weekend for the cause.”

NZWiR Waikato lead Jade Walker said the project was the first the branch had done and was also a great way to bring the members together. All the members were qualified roofers but only some of them regularly worked on the tools; the others worked in areas such as procurement and health and safety.

The weekend temperature was officially 30 deg or a little over, but Jade reckoned it was more like 38 deg up on the roof.


Hard at work on the roof in the long weekend heat. 

Habitat provided all the materials, the women did all the work and the tenants kept them supplied with ice blocks, cold drinks and even some chocolate.

Nic said the housing charity had a strong focus on home repair work in the North Island, where it carries out work at-cost for low income homeowners, asking for no-interest payments over up to five years.

“A lot of this work involves re-roofing or roofing repairs, and so we always have our ear to the ground for contractors around the country who’d like to be part of what Habitat does.”

Jade said New Zealand Woman in Roofing is a volunteer based organisation that supports and advances the careers of woman roofing professionals.

“We provide networking, mentoring, education and recruitment opportunities from the rooftop to the board room. For the young professional at the start of her career to the seasoned manager.”