22 April 2007
Being a local hero is a family affair for Sam Chapman. He grew up with eight brothers and one older sister – and after 40 years working to help those in need his family just keeps on getting bigger. In Otara he lives in and looks after a cluster of six houses which he calls a “multicultural urban marae” – and everyone is welcome. That open-door philosophy underpins Awhi Community Development which Mr Chapman runs with wife Thelma, helping those who have lost hope or been rejected by society. Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia nominated Mr Chapman for the Local Hero Award which honours ordinary people doing extraordinary things to make their communities a better place.