Across the Offices: Our August 22 round-up

Our regional offices have been busy at work and in the community of late. The Taranaki team won a surfboard, Hawke's Bay has been supporting a suicide awareness and prevention programme and Wellington has been team-building, to name a few...

Time to read: 6 mins

Wellingtonians rouse intrigue in a classic whodunnit

Matt Bonner AKA personal trainer “Matt B Armstrong” (bottom-right) and the team.

Our Wellington team members were looking at each other with suspicion last month. They had gathered at their Customhouse Quay premises for a Murder Mystery team-building exercise, however the “protagonist”, Krishmeeta Shandil, proved to be a clever actress and our sleuths were unable to reach a consensus, allowing her to get away with her dastardly crime.

Business Advisory and Taxation Services partner Matt Bonner says the event encouraged interaction and team building between staff from different departments. “Everyone got into their characters and dressed up. It was fun and I’d definitely recommend it to others as a team-building event.”

It was organised by CluedUp, which offers team-building, team coaching and leadership training. 

Number-crunching yields to volunteering for Vinnies

Bhavya Patel (left) and Boston Azuma at Vinnies.

About 12 members of our Auckland Business Advisory Services team rolled up their sleeves for manual labour last month. They spent a day at the Vinnies foodbank in Onehunga, packing food, sanitary items and ample kiwi fruit as part of Baker Tilly Staples Rodway's Volunteer Day initiative. Afterwards they learned about the impact their work would have on the community.

BAS intermediate accountant Boston Azuma says it was sobering to hear Vinnies supported more than 1800 families per week with basic essentials during the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns. “Organisations like Vinnies play a crucial role in supporting our community.” He also appreciated the time off to volunteer. “It’s a nice addition to the other pro bono work we do and who doesn’t love a day away from number-crunching on Excel!”

It’s a sentiment backed up by Business Advisory Services senior accountant Bhavya Patel: “It was a good day and a nice way to give back to the community.” Click here to see how you can help the Society of St Vincent De Paul support struggling Kiwis.

You’ve got a mate in us, says Hawke’s Bay office

Libby (pictured) champions Mates4Life Hawke's Bay.

How are you doing today? Are you okay? If not, take a deep breath because you’re not alone and it’s okay to say you’re struggling.

Some of our Hawke’s Bay team know the pain of losing a beloved someone to suicide and the office is tackling it head-on, supporting suicide awareness and prevention programme Mates4Life Hawke’s Bay with basic accounting, Xero training and reporting documents. “Our suicide rate is way too high in Hawke’s Bay and it’s a no-brainer to support such an important charity,” says Business Advisory Services director Libby O’Sullivan. “We’ve got senseless passing of people who we need to help.”

Libby says suicide doesn’t discriminate – anyone could be susceptible, so it’s important to reach out and ask people if they’re okay when it appears that something might be wrong. Mates4Life Hawke’s Bay has a four-step programme that is delivered at no cost to workplaces and organisations across the region. If you live there and need help, please visit their support page, or if you’re based elsewhere in New Zealand, click here for details of helpline services.

World-class support for the athletes of tomorrow

The world-class sports hub and community centre.

Our Hawke’s Bay office is investing in the children of its region with a cash boost that will give under-privileged students access to a world-class sports hub and community centre.

That centre is at Mitre 10 Park in Hastings and it’s run by the Hawke's Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust (HBCFCT). Our Hawke's Bay office has entered a partnership with the Trust and pledged $30,000 over three years to support its programmes for children from low-decile schools.

Business Advisory Services director Libby O’Sullivan says the children will develop resilience and learn team building, communication and leadership skills through sport and activities led by experienced coaches. “These traits will serve them well throughout life and enable them to be the best they can be,” she says. “Also, there’s an amazing swimming pool that’s opening soon, a gym with modern equipment, and a heat chamber. They’ll be exposed to all those wonderful things.”

The HBCFCT was established to help Kiwis live longer and healthier lives. Its services span community health and fitness, athlete development and high-performance sport, all under one roof. For more details, visit

Waikato team stars in a bag-bearing mission

Jo Laurie (left) did a return trip from Hamilton to Tauranga to deliver the bags.

When Tauranga charity Under the Stars put out a call for bags recently, our Waikato business support team zoomed to the rescue.

Business Support Services Manager Jo Laurie carted four large boxes of reusable bags to the charity, which provides healthy, home-cooked meals for more than 100 people each week. The bags are for those who prefer takeaways, rather than eating with the wider group.

We’d like to deliver a round of applause – to Jo for driving all the way from Hamilton to Tauranga and back to deliver the bags (which feature our old branding) and to Under the Stars for helping those in need. Click here to read more about Under the Stars.

New Plymouth IT team surfs into top spot

Rory, Greg and Brett with the team's surfboard "trophy". 

The IT staff were bemused when a large box was delivered to Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Taranaki recently.

It was addressed to IT Service Delivery Manager Louis Fourie, who came in for a lot of ribbing due to his regular declarations that he never orders things online.

Turns out these landlubbers had won a surfboard, and not just any surfboard, but a six-foot yellow trophy from data protection company Arcserve. It recognises them as top partner in the sale of Arcserve products, which help people recover their IT systems after ransomware attacks.

“There was a bit of confusion, but I got a bit more excited after we opened this thing and I saw the surfboard,” says Louis.

The board now sits in pride of place next to IT desks and is an ongoing reminder to keep ahead of the ransomware waves. Call the Taranaki office on 06 757 3155 or email Special Services director if you want help with formulating and implementing a strategy to meet your IT needs.  

Tauranga braves the cold for Hospice fundraiser

The team got together for a stretching session.

Waipuna Hospice has an extra $1000 to go towards its operating costs, thanks to the efforts of about 20 Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Tauranga staff.

The enterprising team took part in the hospice’s “Shorts 4 Hospice” fundraiser across June, completing challenges that included a day in shorts and a “short” morning tea shout, walk around town, stretching session and, for the bravest, a dip in the sea. “Waipuna Hospice do some amazing work in our community and have supported many of our families over the years,” says Business Advisory Services Associate Keryn Jarvis.

The team had raised $985.90 by 7 August, exceeding their goal of $500.

More than $7200 has been raised overall throughout the community fundraiser. The funds will go directly towards end-of-life care and support for patients and families in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty. Last year the Waipuna Hospice team travelled 252,826 kilometres to visit patients and their families. It supported 959 patients and nurses made 7,794 visits. It’s not too late to donate if you’d like to help... or read more about the hospice here.


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