Gib-stopper Kevin Maloney, of Dunedin, works on the Owen
home in Kaitangata on Friday. Photos by Helena de Reus.
Volunteers are back in Kaitangata as ''Operation Owen''
continues, creating a home for a Kaitangata family.
Derek Craig, of Cromwell, and a committee of about a dozen
others, created ''Operation Owen'' to construct a
purpose-built home for Jodie and Terry Owen. The couple's two
daughters, Charli (8) and Meg (3), have undiagnosed
cerebellar ataxia. The condition affects the girls'
co-ordination and balance, and makes them tire easily.
The Owens welcomed a new addition to the family in December -
Mr Craig designed the house, and the Owens have worked with
him to ensure the house suits their needs.
The design includes wider doorways so Charli and Meg can use
their walking frames inside, cavity sliding doors, and
Dunedin gib-stopper Kevin Maloney, who has been on site since
Wednesday, said he first learned about the charity project
from an article in the Otago Daily Times.
Mr Maloney said the Owens were an amazing family and building
the house was a great way to support them.
The house takes shape.
More than 100 people worked on the home last Labour Day
weekend and dozens of businesses and individuals gave
materials, money, and time.
The house was built at the Kaitangata Rugby Grounds, and was
shifted to the Owens' section in Start St in December.
Mr Craig said the project had taken a break over December and
January, but contractors and volunteers were back on site
building a deck, insulating, and lining the inside of the
Last weekend a team of about 20 volunteers worked to complete
the interior lining, he said.
''It's down to the nitty-gritty now. So far, the house has
only cost around $5000. The public has been pretty amazing.''
Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan, a member of the Operation Owen
committee, said it was great to see the project gaining
''We're starting to see the finish line now.''
Mr Craig said laying carpet, measuring and hanging drapes,
and landscaping were the next steps.