Lunch at The Grand Treasure, left to right: Thalia, Pollyanne, Ihaka, Mr and Mrs Ali, Faz Nisha Ali, Ray, Alaina, and Kahurangi.

Our Rotorua team was treated to a traditional Fijian Indian lunch recently, courtesy of owners of The Grand Treasure Hotel which provides emergency housing in Rotorua.

The team enjoys a close working relationship with owners the Ali family, with housing team leader Pollyanne paying tribute to the safe and supportive environment they provide for our mental health and addiction tangata whaiora who are currently in emergency housing. The hotel is very much an interim measure for people waiting for permanent housing, which is in short supply in Rotorua. “It’s not their permanent home, but it’s their safe space at the moment, which is so important,” Pollyanne said.

Faz Nisha Ali, whose parents own the hotel, said that the values of LinkPeople have aligned well with those of her family: “The approach LinkPeople has with their clients suited us, because we have the same approach with all of our guests. We like to treat them like people…sometimes people forget that in the emergency housing process,” she said.

The LinkPeople team works in conjunction with The Grand Treasure to provide daily wraparound support for our clients who are staying at the accommodation. This manaakitanga is extended by The Grand Treasure by providing a free meal service every day to the people we support at no charge and without any further funding or contractual obligations. Breakfast is delivered to their rooms, lunch is available for those who are onsite and a hot, home-cooked dinner is made on the premises every day by the Ali family.

As well as providing nutritious food, The Grand Treasure provides a structured environment for emergency housing guests, supporting our LinkPeople housing case workers in making sure things run smoothly. The Grand Treasure staff check on guests regularly and ensures a safe space for people. The Hotel even bears the cost of repairs for any damage that may occur, knowing that LinkPeople will manage this with the person and MSD. “They just go over and above,” Pollyanne said, adding that the whole team enjoys the homely and honest relationship that exists between LinkPeople and the owners of the hotel.

The lunch was a great chance for some of our team to sit together and enjoy some traditional Fijian Indian kai with the Ali family, celebrating what has become a highly successful partnership between the hotel, LinkPeople, and the people we support. And such is the generosity of the family, they even provided takeaways for those who couldn’t make it on the day.