• Members of the Abilities team outside their Hillside Road base.

Taking care of people and the environment

Highlighting the great work of the Abilities Group

In Channel Magazine we love highlighting local entities and people doing great work. One such entity is the Ablilities Group based in the Wairau Valley on the Shore.

We all enjoy the many mutual benefits of helping. Abilities makes it easy to help people and the environment by offering numerous recycling and business services carried out mainly by people with disabilities.

Established in 1959 by Takapuna Rotary and modelled on The Viscardi Center based in New York, USA, Abilities employs 120 people with disabilities, along with about 40 staff onsite in Glenfield. Abilities Inc, a registered charity, generates nearly all revenue through operating as a regular business and returns significantly more in PAYE and GST than the 15% operating budget assistance from the government. 

Abilities employees find a sense of achievement through their work and enjoy camaraderie in having shared goals and routines. Some dedicated members have been with Abilities Group for more than 30 years!

“Abilities was established in 1959 by the Takapuna Rotary Club.  Its aim was to employ people with disabilities and to provide work for then in as near typical conditions as possible," explains Peter Fraher, the hard-working managing director and a driving force at Abilities.

"Since our inception, nearly 60 years ago, the type of work has dramatically changed.  Nowadays, on the recycling side at Abilities we carry out secure document and data destruction – hard drive shredding, paper and cardboard recycling,  e-waste disassembly and recycling including TVs, fluorescent tube recycling, battery collection for future recycling, soft plastics collection, and our most recent acquisition of a polystyrene recycling machine.

"Over the past five-plus years Abilities has become a major participant and educator in e-waste recycling securing several lucrative contracts to support growth in this area."

Peter Fraher adds that all of this adds up to diverting environmentally damaging items from landfill to legitimate downstream processors. "All while simultaneously supporting the creation of near-normal working conditions for our disabled employees, which is our key initiative."

Other services offered by Abilities include contract packaging, light manufacturing, shrink wrapping, labelling, assembly, and more!

Abilities Group is open to businesses and the general public at 91 Hillside Road, Glenfield, with easy parking onsite.  For more information visit our website www.abilities.co.nz or contact Peter Fraher at peterf@abilities.co.nz or phone 027 229 2250 or 444 0611.