Ten years of making a difference with KidsCan

The stats are staggering. Over 360,000 shoes and gumboots, 600,000 jackets and 1.3 million hygiene items have been given out to Kiwi kids in need since 2013. We’re incredibly proud to celebrate 10 years as KidsCan’s Principal Partner, and we couldn’t have done it without amazing supporters like you. 

Celebrating 10 years of partnership with KidsCan Transcript

Music plays. 

See a blue background with drawings of shoes, a backpack, a plant, a hat, books and a person skydiving. 

See on screen the words 10 Years, Celebrating our partnership with KidsCan, and the KidsCan and Meridian Principal Partner logos.

Neal Barclay, Chief Executive of Meridian Energy talks to the camera. It’s really pleasing to be able to celebrate our 10-year anniversary working with KidsCan as their principal partner. During that time KidsCan have become a key part of who we are and of what we stand for here at Meridian. Since 2013 we have achieved a lot that we can feel really proud about.

See a teacher at the front of a classroom and from behind, kids sitting at their desks listening to their teacher and putting their hands up.

See a close up of two young school children in the classroom putting their hands up.

See a warehouse with shelves of boxes in the background as Julie Chapman CEO and Founder KidsCan Charitable Trust, talks to the camera. This partnership is one of the most enduring that we have had over the past 10 years. It gives us a lot of certainty around being able to continue to help New Zealand’s most vulnerable children who are living in poverty and now more than ever it’s crucial because more children in New Zealand are living in hardship.

See an adult putting a school shoe on a child.

See a person making toast with butter and Marmite.

See a close up of a child’s black school shoes playing on a playground.

See a school student eating a muesli bar.

See a group of young school children in their school uniforms from behind, walking with bags into school.

Graeme Norman – Principal of Te Kōmanawa Rowley School talks to the camera. We were finding that our children weren’t learning, and we have done a lot of research around that within our school, and we have found that the trauma caused by children wondering where their next meal is coming from causes them not to be able to think while they are at school.

See a school child eating baked beans on toast.

See a can of fruit salad being emptied into a bowl.

See a school child in uniform sipping from the bowl of empty cornflakes.

Justin Perriam – Principal Te Kura O Matarangi Northcote School talks to the camera. In the background is an adult serving breakfast and school children waiting to be served. Society is at a stage where there are a number of families who are struggling to make ends meet and things like this are just wee simple ways that we can actually make a big difference to families.

See a close-up of an adult buttering toast while a school child looks on. The scene changes to show the back of the school children waiting for the toast.

Graeme Norman talks to the camera, standing outside classrooms. Without the KidsCan help we can’t do what we are doing and KidsCan can’t get what they’re doing without the wonderful support of people like Meridian that are there to help and ensure that our children get the food so then they can learn.

See school children with school bags walking through a school. The sign on the school says “Tuakititanga, Fa’asinomaga, ‘llo’i kita, Identity”.

See a school child in uniform eating a piece of toast.

See toast being served to a waiting school child.

See a school child writing their name on a list titled “Breakfast Club Register”.

Neal Barclay says: To date we have invested 5.5 million dollars and importantly that’s allowed KidsCan to grow to be able to feed 55,000 young tamariki every single day in over 1,000 schools.

See a blue and white check background and the following words appear gradually on screen.

$5.5 million to date. 55,000 tamariki.1000 school and ECEs.

See Neal Barclay talking to the camera. Importantly that’s 55,000 young minds that have the opportunity to learn and ultimately achieve their potential.

See a windfarm in the background with two Meridian employees in hard hats and harnesses speaking to a group of school children in hi-vis.

See a Meridian worker helping a school child into a harness.

See Meridian Staff members giving out lunch at a school. This scene moves to show the school kids sitting in the school yard waiting for the lunch.

Neal Barclay says – KidsCan have also been a great avenue for many of teams to get engaged in volunteer work to work at local schools and additional fundraising activity in fact we even had a group of Meridian people jump out of a perfectly good airplane to raise money for the cause.

Music becomes louder and more up tempo. 

See two people waiting to jump out of a plane. They are in the air with snowcapped mountains under them.

See two people skydive from a plane with one yelling “woohoo”.

See the skydivers in the air.

See the skydivers with the parachute out and they come into land.

Guy Waipara, General Manager Development at Meridian, speaks to the camera. He is wearing Skydive Mt Cook overalls and standing in front of snowcapped mountains at the airport. I was part of the team that got Meridian in to KidsCan. You know we did a lot of work back in the day and thought really hard about what would be the right Kaupapa for Meridian to support.We just got drawn to the KidsCan team and what they do.

See Guy Waipara flying kites with school children wearing hi-vis, in a paddock.

See a clip of Julie Chapman and a Meridian staff member on The Project, TV3 Paying it Forward section, and Meridian handing a $1million cheque to KidsCan. See Meridian staff in hi-vis packing pallets in the KidsCan warehouse.

Julie Chapman talks to the camera: So, there are so many stand out moments of our partnership for the last 10 years. I think a key one for me is the time that Meridian Energy team members dedicate to KidsCan, and I think as we progress in our partnership, there will be many more that will create great memories and great things for kiwi kids.

Neal Barclay talks to the camera. KidsCan are really part of the cultural fabric of our organisation. We are part of the KidsCan team and we’ll continue to turn up, play our part and make a difference with the next generation of young kiwi kids.

See Meridian staff moving boxes in the KidsCan warehouse.

See an aerial shot of school children flying kites and playing in front of 11 wind turbines.

See a blue background. Words on the screen appear – 10 years of making a difference together. Kids Can and Meridian logo shown.

Together we’ve been working to give tamariki in schools and early childhood centres (ECEs) the basics they need to break down barriers to learning. Kids can’t learn when they’re cold and hungry, so KidsCan have been doing the mahi (work) to provide essentials like warm jackets, shoes, socks and nutritious kai (food) to fill tummies and fuel brains to help kids succeed. 

When we first started backing KidsCan, they were supporting 352 schools and providing over 30,000 meals a week. Fast forward 10 years and they now support 898 schools with over 55,000 students having access to food each day. Additionally, KidsCan extended their programme to ECEs in 2018 and now support 210 centres. 

We recognise the growing need for KidsCan’s support – that’s why we’ve committed over $5.5 million dollars over the past 10 years, including $1 million during lock-down, so kids didn’t miss out on meals outside of school. 

More than a cheque  

Support isn’t always about funding. We value our partners like they're whānau, which is why we’ve given our time, experience, and helping hands – literally! 

A few highlights: our staff planting orchards at Māori Bank and Northcote Schools, raising over $150k with the Fat Fathers Club charity bike ride from Christchurch to Queenstown, raising $18k to Jump for KidsCan, and countless hours at the KidsCan Warehouse packing pallets of food. 

Our team have also provided opportunities that many Kiwi kids don’t get to experience – Jeremy from Russell School was the first to switch on Mill Creek’s power with then Prime Minster John Key and hundreds (if not thousands) have enjoyed visits to our generation assets including West Wind, Te Uku and Manapōuri. 

A decade of good deeds

2013 to 2023 – staff volunteer at the KidsCan Auckland warehouse packing pallets, and host morning teas to raise even more money for KidsCan. 

2013 – Russell School visits West Wind 

2014 – groups of tamariki enjoy Court Theatre  

2014 – Jeremy from Russell School turns on first power at Mill Creek with then Prime Minster John Key 

2015 and 2016 – staff help plant orchards at Māori Bank/Northcote Schools 

2016 – Flatbush School students visit Mt Rangitoto 

2016 – Over $150k raised with the Fat Father Club charity bike ride from Christchurch to Queenstown 

2020 – Hydro Honey launches to support KidsCan schools. Honey is made from our thriving bee colonies on our hydro sites.

2020 – partnered with KidsCan to bring AMPED to TV3, helping Kiwi kids burn off energy during Lockdown 

2020 – an additional $1 million is donated to KidsCan during Lockdown 

2020 – gave kids the power to play by distributing 20,000 bucket hats (kids can’t play outside in terms 1 and 4 without a hat) 

2021 – Te Mata School celebrates Te Uku’s 10-year anniversary

2022 – Meridian’s Community Decabonisation Fund gives 2 MG EVs to help KidsCan reduce their costs and their carbon footprint 

2022 – Meridian Executive team raises over $18k and Jumped for KidsCan 

2022 – Christmas lunch hosted at Te Kōmanawa Rowley School 

2022 and 2023 – two Wellington schools ride Ika Rere electric ferry to explore Matiu-Somes Island 

Doing our bit to look after the environment and the people who live here is hugely rewarding. We’re honoured to back KidsCan, who share our values and make a fundamental difference to kids who need it most across Aotearoa.  

It definitely takes a village to make this happen and we’re thankful to our customers who’ve helped us support KidsCan for the last decade. Again, we couldn’t have done it without you. 

If you’re in the position to become part of the KidsCan village, head to www.kidscan.org.nz to make a one-off or monthly donation. 

Happy 10 years of partnership, KidsCan!