Christine Selwyn was 17 when 44 per cent of her body was severely burnt in a house fire. She was staying in her grandmother’s Northland garage to celebrate a cousin’s 21st birthday when an unattended candle caused the blaze.
Christine has endured 27 operations and 17 stays in hospital since the accident in April 2001. When first injured, she wore face masks, neck, leg and finger splits and spent two years wearing pressure garments.
Christine had to learn to walk, talk and feed herself again.
It was during the 29-year-old’s most recent stay in the National Burn Centre, which offers treatment and rehabilitation to the most severe burn patients from across the country, that she inspired staff and aided future patients. Christine explained how isolated she felt living in a hospital unit without social media and Internet accessibility for months on end.
“I love coming to the National Burn Centre because everyone has got something in common,” says Christine. “People don’t look at me strangely because they are either patients or staff.
“But last March I was in for a neck release operation, which was a two month stay and that was harder than when the accident first happened. I was completely over it, frustrated, bored and lonely.”
While Christine remembers feeling isolated in 2001, she was in the Intensive Care Unit for one month and too unwell to do much at the time.
Christine uses social media and email to connect with the majority of her extended family and friends who live in Northland and Australia. She finds being unable to update them about her treatment and rehabilitation hard.
The National Burn Centre had one computer in a family room with very limited Internet access, including no Facebook or Trade Me. Until, First National Real Estate donated to the First National Charitable Foundation, which donated four new iPads with ongoing connectivity. The iPads are now used by the victims of burns that are separated from their family and friends for weeks and sometimes months.
“It’s great,” Christine says. “When I was first injured I had difficulty talking on the phone because my vocal chords were damaged, so I had to whisper. If the iPads were there I could have just emailed if I felt up to it.”
Christine has another major reconstruction surgery next year and is already feeling more positive knowing she can keep engaged via social media.
“Our patients tend to stay for longer periods while receiving treatment and the iPads are a fantastic tool of interaction and entertainment for them,” says the National Burn Centre co-ordinator Tracey Perrett.
“They also help patients and their family manage life’s ongoing demands that don’t stop in spite of a major family trauma, such as finding new accommodation if a house is fire damaged or paying bills.
“The iPads are also useful as a distraction therapy during long procedures, like dressing changes. We are extremely thankful to First National Group for the donation.”
Make sure to install smoke alarms in your home, including sleep outs and garages and routinely check they work, adds Christine.
When you buy a house from First National Real Estate* you will receive a gift of compassion with your family’s safety in mind. A Home Safe Kit comes with fire extinguisher, fire blanket and smoke alarm. From the purchase of each kit $5 will go directly to the First National Charitable Foundation, which is in partnership with the National Burn Centre.
In March, the First National Charitable Foundation donated new Freeview flat screens to the National Burn Centre in time for the digital switchover.
*Participating offices only.
For further comment, please contact:
Colleen Milne Rebecca Reid
General Manager Director
First National Group NZ Ltd BOOM! PR
029 771 0750 027 519 4994
About the National Burn Centre
The National Burn Centre (NBC) offers treatment and rehabilitation to the most severe burns patients from across the country, both adults and children. While the government provides funding for healthcare, NBC also relies on financial support from generous individuals and corporates to help update and equip this country’s dedicated burn treatment unit.
About the First National Charitable Foundation
The First National Charitable Foundation is a registered New Zealand charity purposely founded with philanthropic objectives. Through the Foundation, First National’s 60+ offices around the country are able to provide significant benefits to various educational and humanitarian work in New Zealand.
Don’t wait for spring, because you will be competing with many other sellers who are also waiting to bring their property onto the market.
List your property ‘now’ when the stock of unsold homes on the market tightened to an all-time low of 25 weeks, based on the rate of sales, well down on the long term average of 38.1 weeks. The number of new listings in June represents an 18% fall and it is the lowest number of June listings for 7 years.
The housing market remains in favour of the sellers. This is driven by a shortage of listings for sale and low inventory across many regions which include Canterbury, Waikato and Central Otago. Wellington’s stock has fallen to 15.4 weeks, the lowest since 2009.
It remains a sellers’ market across 15 regions of the country. With supply of stock so low in many regions, the economics of supply and demand influences property prices upwards.
The asking price fell in June to $450,178 down 1% on the previous month lead by Auckland experiencing a slight fall; however, this was tempered by Wellington and Canterbury where the asking price rose.
Bob Brereton (First National Chairman) had the opportunity to attend lunch with the PM when he visited Motueka.
John Key’s speech was focused on the economy and the state of the nation, but also touched upon “a topic close to our heart, the housing market” said Bob.
“I spoke to Mr Key about the housing issue, that the Auckland market buoyancy misrepresents the median price for the country. Mr Key is mindful that a rampant Auckland market would have an adverse effect on the country and the Reserve Bank may want to intervene.”
John Key acknowledged that there needed to be further high level, meaningful engagement between the government and leaders in the real estate industry, which may encourage an industry wide discussion rather than a sledgehammer to our economy as proposed by the Reserve Bank.
After over a quarter of a century in Tauranga, First National Real Estate recognised to continue in today’s competitive market, it was time for change. Such a change involved not only relocation of the National office to Auckland but the restructuring of resources to provide expanded products and services to our membership.
This relocation to Auckland was specifically engineered to increase both presence and brand profile in a business city. Suffice to say, this move, together with the restructuring, has resulted in shaking off the gloom of recent poor market conditions, the global financial crisis and, ultimately, enabled us to focus on adding value and growth to our membership.
The introduction of a vast array of new technology products from First National (Australia) will provide benefits to our sales and property management teams. This is just one of the great benefits of being a part of a 400+ First National International network. Added to this, as a co-operative, our members continue to value their autonomy as they have no big brother watching over them.
A revitalised executive management team lead by general manager Colleen Milne (MBA) has achieved exceptional results largely due to her hands on administrative approach backed by her extensive experience at senior management level. This real estate role is a change of career for Colleen who previously came from a franchising background, “it is a pleasure to work in this co-operative, with such a committed group of members. The members believe in the brand and work together for the good of the membership which is very refreshing” says Colleen Milne.
Under Colleen’s guidance, the restructuring of the National office has seen the introduction of a real estate licensed trainer, a property management trainer as well as a membership services manager who are all focused on delivering products and services to the network’s sales people, property managers and their teams.
Joining the executive, in 2012, was a very technology savvy Chairman of the Board, Bob Brereton whose guidance and expertise is taking the First National brand from strength to strength.
For more information please contact:
First National Group NZ Ltd
Mobile: 029 771 0750
Newly elected Bob Brereton becomes First National Real Estate’s youngest Chairman. First National Real Estate is the largest group of independent real estate agents with over 400 offices in Australasia – Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.
At age 38, and after only six years with the network, Brereton’s leadership, vision and business acumen are the outstanding skills required to spearhead a company.
Starting out as a personal assistant in the real estate business, within six years, Brereton has risen to Principal of First National Motueka followed by Chairman of First National Real Estate. “ Bob’s enthusiasm, focus and business aptitude meant he was quickly identified as a future leader for our brand”, says Colleen Milne, general manager of First National Group.
Milne says,“Bob has come from a cross industry business background – construction through to property investment. His extensive industry experience and people skills has laid the foundations for a successful real estate business while, at the same, developed the competencies required for a leadership role.”
Bob Brereton states that, “Showing faith in me displays the enormously progressive nature and forward thinking of the First National network. The world of real estate has moved significantly over recent years during very challenging market conditions – some have handled it and some not.
“During this time, a new generation of real estate professionals has emerged never having known a different market and, ultimately, flourished in it. As a result, First National has embraced the market conditions and emerged a stronger and more focussed force” he says.
First National Real Estate is a co-operative company which means agents are shareholders in the brand. This results in the owners having control of their destiny. As part of the shareholder process, the group elects a board and a Chairman, with the emphasis on growth and delivery of benefits to its members.
Milne says, “ Bob has extensive information technology experience which is critical in today’s real estate market . He is leading the way in implementing new technologies from our partnership with First National Australia”.
For more information, please contact:
Colleen Milne, general manager, First National Group
Phone: 029 771 0750
Bob Brereton. Principle, First National Motueka
Phone: 021 772 309