Phone book delivery call answered

Talayus Jones and son Leon Wineera picking up their share of the 5100 phone books that will be delivered by Tapora School this year.

Parents at Tapora School have rallied to a call to commit to its annual phone book delivery fundraiser, following fears that it might have to be dropped due to lack of support.

Every year, families and staff at the school deliver hundreds of phone books on 27 distribution runs, from Tapora and Wharehine out to Wellsford, Kaiwaka, Mangawhai, Tomarata and Pakiri.

The unusual fundraiser brings in up to $15,000 annually, but it takes a huge amount of time and effort to organise and execute, and the school was beginning to wonder if it was still worth doing, according to principal Keryl Lee.

“It is getting harder and harder to get support for phone book deliveries,” she said. “The behind the scenes organising of the phone books is a real headache. We only have 17 families at the moments, so we have staff members doing it, too.”

Ms Lee said the school received around $87,000 government funding for all running costs and resources this year, which wouldn’t go far – last year, plumbing leaks and maintenance alone ate up $11,000 – so the phone book runs provided vital top-up funds. She said without them, there would be no new playground for the school, digital devices, swimming pool repairs or subsidised school camp and trip fees.

However, after asking parents whether the phone book runs should be dropped, there was overwhelming support to carry on.

Concerns have also been raised over how long phone book deliveries would continue, as more people opt out of delivery and look up phone numbers and information online. However, Yellow’s marketing communications manager Chantelle Harper said phone books were still delivered to the majority of homes and businesses in New Zealand, so groups such as Tapora School would not have to look for an alternative fundraiser in the foreseeable future.


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