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New trustee for Maru Energy Trust

King Country’s Maru Energy Trust has a new trustee.

Taumarunui-based Simon Hepi has been appointed to the not-for-profit trust established in 2018 by The Lines Company (TLC). TLC continues to financially support Maru, but the Trust is run independently.

Maru works with King Country homeowners to help make their homes warmer, drier and healthier and eventually, use less energy. The Trust leverages government funding to provide free ceiling and underfoot insulation. Once homes are insulated, homeowners may be eligible for heat pump funding.

Since it began, Maru has helped insulate close to 900 homes across the King Country and has installed around 400 heat pumps.

The Trust also runs Kahumoe Kaupapa – The PJ Project which last year helped distribute 903 pairs of brand new winter pyjamas to local whānau.

Maru chair Brian Hanna said Simon joins the Trust at a time when many local families are feeling the cost-of-living crunch. With winter coming, Maru wants to do more, he said.

“We’re on a mission to create healthy, warm homes that will ultimately see power bills come down. We get fantastic feedback from those we have worked with. People tell we are having a dramatic and positive impact but there is still work to do,” Brian said.

“We know government funding is available for at least another three years and we want to ensure Maru gets its full share of that because it’s our local families who benefit.”

Simon, a manager at WINZ for the past 28 years, joins existing Maru Trustees Janette Osborne, Denis Greenslade, Sandra Greenslade, Weston Kirton and Mike Fox. Simon is well known in the community, having coached the Taumarunui High School First XV and been very active in touch rugby.


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