Long-time volunteer and Habitat for Humanity leader, Warren Jack, has been recognised as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the King’s Birthday and Coronation Honours List 2023 for his dedicated and passionate service to his community for more than 40 years.
During that time, Warren has dedicated 28 years and counting to Habitat, ensuring that everyone has a healthy and safe place to call home throughout New Zealand and abroad. He has directly enabled hundreds of families into home ownership when many would have gone without adequate shelter.
When the first Habitat for Humanity affiliate was established in New Zealand in 1994, then known as Habitat Manukau, Warren attended the establishing meeting and was an early volunteer on a build in 1995. Later that year he was instrumental in the planning team for the ‘5-house Blitz Build’ and joined the Habitat Manukau board.
As committee chairman, Warren spearheaded a Habitat International record setting Speedbuild event that saw 200+ skilled volunteers build a four-bedroom house in 3 hours, 44 minutes, and 59 seconds in 1999.
In 2000, Warren became Habitat Manukau’s first ever employee, serving as Executive Director and additionally Affiliate Development Manager for Habitat for Humanity New Zealand.
Warren has also led Habitat’s Global Village (GV) programme since 2000; a programme that facilitates volunteer teams to complete housing projects in underprivileged areas of the world. To date, Warren has volunteered his own time to lead nine GV trips, building in Nepal, Vietnam, Samoa, Cambodia, Mongolia, Thailand and Fiji. Warren’s passion for extending resources, time, and kindness to those less fortunate around the world is the epitome of Habitat and its humanitarian values.
Outside of his work at Habitat, he has helped establish an Early Childhood Centre and has been supporting the restoration and development of the national heritage reserve in Howick. Warren has also served on the Council of Community Housing Aotearoa for six years, four of those as co-chair, representing more than 100 community housing organisations in New Zealand. Warren has been involved with the Life Growth Community Trust since 2008 and is the Health and Safety Leader for the Wesleyan and Methodist Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Most importantly, it is Warren’s character that has had the most powerful influence both within our organisation and in his wider community. His strong values of love and acceptance, supported by his commitment to those we seek to serve, have cemented a set of values that continue to permeate.
Because of Warren’s dedicated service, hundreds of families have broken the cycle of shelter-poverty, benefiting future generations with substantial long-term impact. We are delighted to congratulate him on being a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit and thank him for all he has done for humanitarian service so far.