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Mucking In

Sundays at 7pm | TV ONE

Episode 11 - Kerrie Fairhall, Westport

Episode 11 - Kerrie Fairhall, Westport

Kerrie Fairhall is raising two teenage daughters on her own, that alone is worthy of recognition but its Kerrie's determination and strength to never give up that we should celebrate.

Kerrie suffered a brain haemorrhage caused by a burst aneurism - against all odds she survived   - once she recovered she was back and doing everything all over again, she picked up where she left off and was even stronger.  She has always been a fighter, looking after the community where she was born and bred - Westport.

She's an active member of BOLT - the Buller Outdoor Learning Trust which challenges Westport's youth to do things that they never thought would be possible. 

Kerrie volunteers at the Buller Marathon, she donates her time to a Victim Support group, then there's the numerous sports teams she ether coaches, manages or participates in. She can be on call 24 hours a day for the Local Search and Rescue; she drives for the local hospital, raises money for Red Cross and ahs been involved in Meals on Wheels for 20 years. If there is a sausage sizzle or a raffle ticket to be sold Kerrie will be there - anything for the community she loves.

"Kerrie is our legend supporter who will do anything we ask of her, whenever we ask her. She's training to be a teacher, helps out at a few of the local schools, looks after senior citizens, manages a B & B and tries to keep her two daughters under control. Where she finds the time to help us we don't know, but we are sure are glad she does!"

The Mucking In experience in Kerrie's own words

Wow what excitement we could hardly sleep for days. The girls, my parents and friends were as excited as me; they were all counting down the sleeps and coming up with all sorts of ideas.

Friday was amazing as everyone began to arrive. I felt like I was going to be missing out on a great weekend with a whole lot of friends and fun.

When it was time to go we were so excited, the car arrived, our gear loaded and away we went on our mystery weekend. We headed north of Westport to the fantastic Rough and Tumble Lodge tucked away in the remote Mohiknui valley. What a spot Mucking in...A dream come true. 

Owners Sue and Weasel welcomed us and we got the grand tour. What a fantastic resort tucked away in native West Coast Beech on the banks of the Mohiknui River and all hand build by Sue and Weasel. That night Sue cooked a wonderful dinner. We ate, talked and relaxed by a roaring fire and in the lovely outdoor bath. The whole weekend we were looked after like queens, fed and watered on demand. Thank you Sue and Weasel you are legends!
In the morning Dan arrived, we showed him around and had fun swimming/kayaking in the river, then a quiet walk on the beach. To top that Janeese arrived and we all had a relaxing massage and facials.

What a top weekend, a prefect spot to wind down or get out there and enjoy the fantastic West Coast bush, rivers and mountains.

I enjoyed meeting Jim, Tony and the team. Everyone to do with 'Mucking In' were wonderful to us, and really do care about the people and the communities that they get to spend a short time in.

Going home I was so nervous by the time we got to the meeting place the more nervous I got. Then it was time to drive down the street I joked about turning off and heading to the beach. I was soooo nervous. When we got home I was completely blown away by all the people, there were so many people to welcome us home, some I didn't even know. 

A couple of times during the weekend I felt really emotional thinking about everything that was being done for us, all the kind words and best wishes from people. I was sure I would be a blubbering mess the following day; I'm so surprised that I didn't cry!

I had no idea about what would be done to the garden and yard. Wow what an amazing transformation, we now have a beautiful garden and yard. The BBQ and spa are more than we dreamed. There is not one single thing I would change. It is just perfect!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Westport, Mucking In and everyone who were involved in the transformation of my garden.

Thank you all for your time and effort, you have touched a special place in my heart and have done more for us than I could ever express.

A few words from Kerrie's nominator - Rose Adams

Being a Mucking In nominator was a lot of fun. While Lynn and I knew Kerrie was involved in a bit of stuff we decided to take it upon ourselves to look into her past and then we were amazed at this woman who has been volunteering pretty much her whole life! We thought she was definitely a good candidate for Mucking In.

While she is not generally a leader of any particular group or cause, you will just about always find her in the background with her sleeves rolled up doing the work. We thought that was worth celebrating. Lynn and I had a great time finding out all about Kerrie and then when we found out she had been selected we were stoked! Then, the fun began.

Trying to figure out a way of surprising her and keeping it a secret was going to be a real mission. This is a woman who will change her plans at the last minute to help out somewhere or other if she's needed - and this she did. The place she decided to help out at was the very place we were planning to surprise her - typical Kerrie!

Luckily we had a wee bit of time up our sleeves so we managed to hatch another plan to get her out of the school building, although even as the tv cameras were turning up she still hadn't actually left as she had got talking to people. Jeepers, we were lucky she never suspected a thing and that was probably the really fun part for us. She truly was surprised. Jim asked her to stand up to meet Tony and the crew and she couldn't because her legs were shaking so much! It was great.

The weekend itself was loads of fun too. While there was a bit of organising getting everyone sorted who wanted to be there, with email and texting this isn't too hard and people are really keen to help. Everyone had a great time, even in the rain - I guess coasters know how to enjoy themselves in the rain - and it was really neat seeing Kerrie's garden take shape. It was a shame the lawn didn't get put down but it didn't really matter in the end, the weekend was so much fun and Kerrie was really blown away regardless.

Since then Kerrie has just been getting on with her usual thing. Fundraising for boats for rowing, sewing costumes for the highschool stage challenge, organising the Cape Fear race, she just carries on.

She's a fantastic woman and it's been really neat for Lynn and I as her friends to have been able to kick start the Mucking In process for her. To us, she is still, and always will be, the person who you can rely on to help with, organise, find, sort, fix, manage, create just about anything you need. She's a legend.

Thanks Mucking In for creating such a neat garden for her. She loves it and whenever we are calling in or just driving past we smile because it looks great and she so deserved it.

Rose Adams

If you would like to find out more about some of the organisations that Kerrie is associated with, please see the following links:

Buller Outdoor Learning Trust (BOLT)
55 Peel St, Westport
03 789 7067

Buller Marathon
P.O. BOX 158
New Zealand
0064 3 7898010

Victim Support (Granity, Karamea, Westport)
c/- Police Stataion
PO Box 34
Ph: 03 788 8310
Pager 086 826 181 24 hour
Land Search & Rescue

Red Cross
New Zealand Red Cross - Southern Region
31 York Place
PO Box 5210
Dunedin 9031
New Zealand
Phone: +64 (03) 477 1527
Fax: +64 (03) 477 1529