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Harris Tate takes day off for a good cause

1 July 2016

If Harris Tate Lawyers’ offices seem unusually quiet to you in the coming weeks, it might pay to cast your eye outside into the community.

That is where you will find members of the Tauranga law firm giving back to the city through good old-fashioned Kiwi labour, by mucking in at various local businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

Starting this month, each staff member is being encouraged to take a day’s paid leave, to help out at a specific organisation of their choice.

The purpose? To give back to the community that supports one of Tauranga’s leading legal firms. And with approximately 30 staff at Harris Tate, this equates to about 180 hours of voluntary work dedicated to giving back to the community, explains Harris Tate director Oliver Moorcroft.

“‘Day off for good cause’ is an initiative we decided upon earlier this year that not only gives back to the community, but also keeps staff enthusiastic about their work by taking them out of their 9-to-5.

“While this concept is in its infancy, we hope to contribute time to the community for the years to come through our corporate volunteering.”

Staff uptake and enthusiasm is already positive with numerous ideas being presented for approval, including mucking in at a local community garden, helping out at the annual SPCA cupcake day, or maintaining mountain biking trails for public use.

Just recently, Legal Assistant Aleyce McLatchie spurred the initiative into action, spending her designated day volunteering in Thailand while on holiday with partner Sam Molloy.

While in Phuket, the pair spent a day volunteering at the Soi Dog Foundation, a large animal refuge facility housing more than 400 dogs and dozens of cats which have been rescued either from the streets of Thailand or from the brutal Asian meat trade.

They were kept busy, assisting with socialising the shelter dogs, which is the main role of volunteers at the facility. Socialisation is an integral part of the animals’ rehabilitation as many are fearful of humans given the cruelties inflicted upon them.

Mr Moorcroft says while this is an exceptional case, it was a fantastic way to start the campaign and is looking forward to the feedback from staff once they have completed their day's work.

“We are thrilled to be supporting each of our staff and their affiliations to various pockets of society within Tauranga. 

“Community is the key to a vibrant and thriving city, so it is great to be actively involved in what makes Tauranga tick.”

(Published in The Weekend Sun, July 1, 2016)