In the Community

Wanganui Enterprises FIVESTAR is a charitable trust that has been operating in the Wanganui community for over 30 years.  We have done and continue to, provide a safe, encouraging workplace for people with disabilities and job limiting illness.  We are the largest regional employer of accessible community members, and very proud of our Teams achievements over the years.

People with disabilities do have more difficulties finding work, some of this is because of Health and Safety constraints, and time limitations but mostly it’s financial and often there is stigma associated with being different.  It is our vision to support new employees and trainees in the workplace, helping them to overcome the obstacles that come with a new place of work, that is made more difficult by their disability, their view of themselves and the values imposed. 

Through our supported environment we train, guide, employ and rehabilitate persons, either through our factory or in our Be-Ready Course.  This helps to remove some of the barriers to employment by developing vocational, interpersonal and communication skills while building confidence, self-esteem, and resilience.  This is beneficial both in and outside the factory, especially when faced with challenges away from the supported environments. 

It is our goal, that through our endeavours, these team members will be able to gain acceptance and employment in the community.    But also gain a sense of pride in themselves and what they can accomplish. 


None of what we do is challenge free, it requires time, patience, and the ability to understand the individuals’ limits, abilities, and their strengths. We can become time poor, as this oftentimes requires more supervision, and timelines can be slightly longer. On the flip side of this, our team members and incoming attendees do have skills that can be an inspiration to many of us.  Whether it be creative/artistic talent, attention to detail, or the ability to remain task orientated amongst distraction, or a variety of other skills, their talents do inspire.  What is more inspiring is their willingness to learn, grow and flourish in spite of their limitations.



Our standards for quality, precision, and excellence remain steadfast, no matter who is on the team.  Our team members are brilliant at what they do, and our experienced supervisors are there throughout the entire process, offering support, guidance, and detailed quality assurance.  There is a final inspection prior to every item leaving our factory.


We have a long history of manufacturing farm gates, kennels and runs (under the name FIVESTAR), but we also produce trellis, planters, garden furniture, retaining walls and even beehive components.

Our Team members have helped us build a solid reputation for the best kennels and runs in the country, and their longevity is unmatched.  We offer refurbishing of our product and have had kennels and runs come in that are over 15 years old.  We have highly skilled and experienced engineering, production, and carpentry supervisory staff.

Our factory can assemble, manufacture, refurbish and even create custom product.  Our flexibility allows for the ability to make custom products, that suit the customers’ needs.


We have our own truck, so we can pick up, deliver, and install any products within the North Island that do not require a Hiab.  This ensures our product is taken care of and arrives in the best condition possible.


We are very keen to expand our enterprises, and our hope is to manufacture products on others’ behalf.  Whether that would include manufacturing whole items and/or components, product assembly, installation and delivery is something to be explored.

We work with several companies from adjusting components, refurbishing older products, and working with them to produce the products they need.  From collapsible runs, kennel kitsets and larger customised builds for military and police purposes, are just some of the areas we are branching into.


“Changing lives through employment, training and rehabilitation of people living with disabilities”.


Some accessible members, including those with job limiting health conditions will often withdraw from society, isolating at home or into very select, small groups, slowly devaluing themselves and allowing others to see only their disability/condition.  I know that is what I did.

My experience from attending the “Be-Ready” course is that I have redeveloped my vocational, interpersonal and workshop skills, but also my self-esteem has improved immensely, I am able to see that I do have value in society and that my self-worth is not measured by my disability, but instead in my ability to find strength in body, mind and spirit.  To where I see that I do have a place in the wider community, and what I bring with me is a depth of spirit and experience that before this course was buried under the weight of my condition and the value I and society set by my limitations.  Thank you, Wanganui Enterprises, and all those involved in the Be-Ready Course. 

Geniene Taft-Walsh