Family fun and a way to engage with the community come together at Silver Fern Farms’ Community Whanau Day, a free event this Saturday in Dargaville

Whanau day a tradition of thanks

by Andy Bryenton

This weekend hundreds of families will gather in Dargaville’s Selwyn Park to take part in Saturday’s Silver Fern Farms Community Whanau Day. This year’s event promises to be the biggest ever, but it’s an evolution of an idea, which has been years in the making.

Silver Fern Farms’ plant manager Lance Warmington explains that the concept for the very first community whanau day came from a wish to express some gratitude to a close-knit and hard-working team.

“It really came from the company wanting to appreciate our most valued asset, our people,” he says. “Our staff and their whanau are integral to our operations, and we wanted to say thanks not just to those who work on-site with us, but to their families too.”

What began as a simple barbecue celebration at the end of the year grew through the early 2010s, with the assistance of Sport Northland, who added games and sports to the day, then the addition of music and entertainment.

In late 2018 Lance says Silver Fern Farms was pleased to get involved with the Tamariki Collective, a group of like-minded civic, governmental and business organisations aiming to provide family fun and bonding experiences for locals. The partnership between Silver Fern Farms and the community is extremely important, so the decision was made to open up the Silver Fern Farms Community Whanau Day as a fully inclusive day of celebration.

“It’s a big day, with so many things to organise,” says Lance.

“We simply couldn’t do it on this scale without the assistance of everyone involved.”

With the Tamariki Collective’s skills and resources assisting Silver Fern Farms, this Saturday’s event, which begins at noon in Selwyn Park, takes a gesture of gratitude and extends it to the whole community.