Who are you and what do you do in your day-to-day job?

I'm Colin Thomson and I'm responsible for the MAS KiwiSaver Plan and MAS Retirement Savings Plan.


Petone Beach Dune Restoration Project


How did you use your 'Here for Good' day?

I joined the Petone Beach Clean Up Crew

Why did you choose them?

This is my local beach and an icon of the Hutt Valley. It risks being blighted by rubbish and weeds if locals don't act. I love to be out in nature so it was an easy decision to volunteer to join a working bee when the word went out for help.


Volunteers at work plucking weeds at Petone foreshore

What did you do?

The focus of the morning was weeds rather than rubbish. The group is helping the council reclaim the sand dunes with native plants, so we grabbed shovels and forks to remove the worst of the invasive weeds such as fleabane and wild parsnip.


A trunk load full of tools

What did you enjoy most?

I enjoyed talking to the other volunteers about why they were there. They were all retired and what became apparent was that they not only felt strongly about the job we were doing, but they also valued the social interaction and physical exercise. I got a new insight into how important it is for people's mental and physical wellbeing that they remain active and involved once they cease full-time work.

What did you learn from the experience?

I learned just how many people are involved in volunteer work and how relatively invisible it is. We should celebrate volunteers more.

How can I help?

The group holds fortnightly clean ups and occasional big efforts. You can find out more on their Facebook page.

Colin volunteering to clean up Petone beach

Tag your heroes and get in the draw to win!

Comment on this Facebook post (or on any other of our advent calendar posts) and like our Facebook page before 24 December, and be in to win a $500 prezzie card or one of five $100 prezzie cards or one of five Bum Bag Survival Kits!

We'd love to hear your stories about wonderful organisations, amazing people, and initiatives in your community. Tag them in the comments and tell us what makes them special.

This December we want to celebrate all those generous and kind-hearted people out there who contribute to the greater good, give their time and help others. Here at MAS, each staff member is given one day per year to give back to community. They pitch in for a wide variety of organisations and causes and we'll share their stories as our #masforgood advent calendar.

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