Eseta Cook with her baby, Mavae. “It will be amazing.” Photo / Phibbs Visuals
Most families in Aotearoa New Zealand would be feeling the squeeze on household budgets right now. For parents of newborns it’s even more noticeable with 91 per cent noticing an increase in their power use, and associated costs, according to research by Contact Energy.
To help combat this, Contact has just launched their “Fourth Trimester” initiative offering three months of free power to Kiwi families expecting a baby from 01 February this year.
Two million hours of free power will be gifted to the families of the newest New Zealanders, aiming to alleviate some of the financial pressures and letting them get on with the important stuff, like bonding with baby.
Whanau Awhina Plunket chief executive Fion Kingsford said that Contact’s Fourth Trimester offer will take a huge amount of pressure off Kiwi families at what can be a financially stressful time.
“Adding a new member to the whānau is a special time but it’s also one of the biggest changes a family will go through,” said Kingsford. “Most Kiwi families will be on a reduced income when welcoming a new member to the family, meaning covering basic expenses such as bills can be stressful. What’s more, raising a baby in New Zealand costs $9,100 a year or more, making finances one of the biggest challenges for new families.”
Contact CEO Mike Fugue said while they didn’t believe Fourth Trimester to be a silver bullet for financial stress during the newborn phase, they hoped that the initiative would make life easier for families getting to know the latest member of the family.
“We believe home is the best place in the world – both our individual homes and our collective home of Aotearoa,” Fuge said. “Fourth Trimester is designed to ensure home is the best place for new families by taking the pressure off during a financially challenging period, enabling them to spend more time enjoying the newborn phase and less time thinking about bills.”
Kingsford said: “Contact’s Fourth Trimester initiative will have a significant impact on participating families. Removing the mental load of worrying about an upcoming bill, or deciding whether or not to put another load of washing on to save money will give new families freedom to focus on bonding with their new addition.”
Eseta Cook, of Auckland, and mother of recently born Mavae is thrilled with the offer.
“When I heard we were getting 3 months of free power I was so excited,” said Cooke. “Now I get to do more laundry and enjoy electricity for 3 months all for free, and it also means we get to save a lot within that 3 months so I’m really grateful it’s going to be amazing.”