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Mucking In

Sundays at 7pm | TV ONE

Episode 8 - Edwina and Kevin O'Brien, Kawerau


Episode 8 - Edwina and Kevin O'Brien, Kawerau

This bubbly, helpful, enthusiastic Maori couple work together in the community to get things moving. Edwina supports her husband, Kevin, in all his community endeavours and vice-versa, Kevin being the key driver/hands-on man, while Edwina is the organiser of troops/ gatherer of goods and people.

The O'Brien's are described as "Rip, shit and bust"; they just get out there and get things done.

While Kevin is the Chairperson of the Keep Kawerau Beautiful Committee, he is always on the cold-face with Edwina getting community initiatives moving e.g. organising and cutting firewood for the disabled, painting over graffiti and fixing up tracks on community walkways and mountain-bike tracks.

Kevin is also a volunteer masseuse for the elderly at the local Mountainview rest home - one lady from the rest home doesn't like the food there, so Edwina sends Kevin off on his massaging missions with her home-baking.  He also massages the legs of his dear friend in a wheelchair.

Kevin devotes 100 percent of his time to volunteer work and while Edwina is only paid part-time, she works a full working week in her role as Sports Co-ordinator on the new "Pathway to Health" Council initiative, which aims to get the high percentage of young people in Kawerau involved in sport and out of trouble.

Kevin helps with this by clearing trees along the river bank for the slalom course, and putting out cones and dropping off marshals for the annual Mayoral bike ride. 

They are both very involved with the Kawerau Sports Club - Kevin having recently been nominated as the BOP Coach of the Year and both helping to revitalise ribbon day this year for the local kids. 

Previously Edwina has been on the Kawerau College Board of Trustees and the Sport BOP Board, but she came off these boards to reduce any conflict of interest in her new role on Pathway to Health.

The Mucking In experience in Edwina & Kevin's own words

The whole experience has been shared with the community and your weekend with us will remain in the hearts of the Kawerau Community for a long time to come, your team made such a difference to a normal working family who don't have the opportunity of luxuries that others take for granted, you gave us such a wonderful weekend and memories that will live with our children, moko's and extended family forever, and for that I'm extremely grateful and overwhelmed. 

Not a day goes by when someone doesn't stop one of us and ask "how is your garden" it brings such a smile to our faces, a simple "thank you" does not do justice for what your team has granted the O'Brien family which is a garden that will be well used, played in and lovingly looked after well into the future. Arohanui Edwina.

The surprise aspect really blew me away, as I dodge headlines for the simple reason people don't want to read your name every day as they know what you contribute to your community. 

I'm really grateful and humble that we had the privilege of being chosen and the vacation and the new garden are something we will treasure forever. 

Yourself and the entire Mucking In crew were fabulous and a memory that will not fade. Words cannot express the emotional feeling that we experienced on our return and when I have my extreme make over and win Lotto I shall certainly come looking for you. 

Love you most sincerely

Kevin O'Brien

p.s: I'm usually articulate but realise now that feigning deafness and dumbness I must have portrayed does not work, so back to the drawing board.  Love you all. Tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness, to us it is the only way to appreciate life.  Tumeke.  Ka kite ano.

A few words from the O'Briens' nominator - Tracy Wilson

Just a quick note to say a huge thank you for coming to Kawerau and honouring our special residents Kevin and Edwina OBrien.  It was a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together and give back (with your help!) something to this wonderful family.  We are so grateful to your team and the sponsors for making this event so special and so memorable.  Kawerau will remember so fondly the Mucking In weekend and subsequent results for a very long time.

Best wishes and grateful thanks for making this a reality for us all.

Tracy Wilson


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