Kiwibank Local Heroes: Sam Hart

Sam Hart is a HUHA volunteer, looking after the charitable trust's Horse Team.
JO MOORE

Sam Hart is a HUHA volunteer, looking after the charitable trust's Horse Team.

Sam Hart has been a volunteer for HUHA, a charitablee trust dedicated to teaching empathy to the community and providing shelter for less fortunate animals, for more than five years.

She is passionate about the rights and welfare of animals, and her efforts to ensure they find the right homes includes meetings with owners and property viewings to check their suitability.

Hart and her team of volunteers led the rescue and rehabilitation of 38 wild Kaimanawa horses, finding them homes and giving them a brighter future.

Hart is passionate about animal welfare and making sure they find their right homes.
JO MOORE

Hart is passionate about animal welfare and making sure they find their right homes.

It was this dedication to animals that earned her a 2016 Kiwibank Local Hero award.

READ MORE:
*Career path: How I started animal sanctuary HUHA
*Kiwibank Local Heroes: Gary Mitchell
*Kiwibank Local Heroes: Christine Langdon

What I do is...

Sam Hart, centre, says she was overwhelmed when she found out she had won a 2016 Kiwibank Local Hero award.
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Sam Hart, centre, says she was overwhelmed when she found out she had won a 2016 Kiwibank Local Hero award.

I look after the Horse Team for HUHA (Helping you Help Animals Charitable Trust), managing an awesome bunch of dedicated volunteers; caring for our horses and rehoming them back out into the community. I also look after the chicken department - primarily giving ex-commercially farmed chooks a second chance at life –where they can spread their wings and feel the sun on their backs. Our chooks are in backyards all over Wellington!

I got involved in what I do because...

I want to be able to make a difference in our community – and give the animals that come into our care an opportunity for a bright new future, at the same time hopefully educating people along the way.

The most rewarding part is…

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Seeing an animal that has come from an unfortunate situation turn around and thrive in a new environment. What had been deemed as disposable, unwanted, labelled as whatever the circumstances had created given the opportunity to flourish.

My reaction to being a Wellington Local Hero was...

Overwhelmed. I wasn't sure that I really deserved it but I tried to take it with grace! It wasn't just about me - I couldn't do what I do without the support of the wonderful volunteers around me.

The highlight of 2016 was…

A real HUHA highlight just in time for Xmas was reuniting a Kaimanawa mare and her foal that had been split up in the 2014 muster – by chance, and with the powers of social media, resulting in a real fairy tale ending for one of our horses. It's the best video – hold on to your hankies!

The lowlight was…

Its easy to get caught up and brought down by all the negativity and sadness in the world - Trump, Brexit, Syria, and just dealing with what the HUHA team has to do on a daily basis, but being at the Local Hero Awards was so good for restoring faith. There were some truly awesome people out there in the local community doing some amazing stuff and so much of it flies totally under the radar. You really don't know what everyday people are up to, making so much difference.

My perfect holiday is…

Something tropical, bright blue skies and bright blue seas to restore the soul... A good book or 10. Yoga, and then a few beers in the evening to undo all the goodness.

But in reality I'll be…

In Taranaki for a few days and showing off the delights of Wellington to family visiting from the UK. Not such a bad reality!

Wellington's best spot is…

The waterfront, on a good day with lots of life - nothing beats it!

If I could meet one Wellingtonian for coffee, it would be...

Well to be honest, although there are many awesome Wellingtonians out there that I would love the opportunity to sit down with, I don't have the chance to catch up with many of my nearest and dearest Wellingtonian friends often enough. I live up the coast, and although I work in town, HUHA and my own animals take up most of my spare time so to catch up with them would be super special!

In 2017 I'm most looking forward to…

Putting a bit more balance in my life. Haha. The intention is always there – but it never quite seems to work out! I would love to have a bit more selfish time, more yoga, more of my own animal time, and more time with my neglected husband.. If I put that in print it will remind me that I really need to stick to it!

 - Stuff

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