Sandra Stiles, who encompasses the words warmth and compassion, started working at Nga Kete 12 years ago at the Maori Support Centre at the Southern Institute of Technology before moving into administration and then disabilities.
Sandra, who was brought up in Tarras (a small farming settlement in Central Otago), says outside of Nga Kete working in the community as a Murihiku Maori Warden is a large part of her life, as well as catering.
“I love seeing everybody happy and content. I love it when there’s food left over and people get to take it home.”
Sandra caters for events such as weddings and rugby clubs but treats it as a hobby and simply asks for a koha for her services.
Sandra’s hobbies encapsulate who she is as a person - she radiates kindness and caring, which naturally spills over into her role at Nga Kete as Disability Information & Advisory Support Kaiawhina.
Sandra says she loves being around the people at Nga Kete, supporting people and being able to help.
She even goes out of her way to attend expos at weekends because she enjoys being able to promote Nga Kete in the community.
Sandra enjoys her role at Nga Kete and intends to stay.
“They will have to sack me to have me leave as I’m here to stay for as long as they want me.”
“I love it here. They are my second Whanau.”