Black Out event to raise money for Cyclone Gabrielle recovery

Published on March 01, 2023

Black Out event to raise money for Cyclone Gabrielle recovery.

The Horowhenua community is uniting to raise money for Cyclone Gabrielle recovery. 

Mayor Bernie Wanden says “We have all been doing our bit to help, where we can. We are now wanting our community to come together to raise money for the worthy cause through The Black Out event.”

The Black Out is a district-wide event taking place on Friday 31 March where businesses and schools are encouraged to wear black and donate to the Mayoral Relief Fund, the proceeds of which will go directly to the Hawkes Bay and Tararua Districts. The Black Out event will end with an evening auction on Saturday 1 April at Te Takaretanga o Kura-hau-pō showcasing the district's producers and local businesses. 

“From a school mufti day to a glamorous evening event, this is a tangible way for all of our community to come together and support this devastating cause,” says Mayor Bernie. 

Geoff Lewis from Lewis Farms says “As a district that champions our food producers we have felt deeply for the growers and producers, in particular. Some farms are lost forever. We felt the need to come together and organise something as a community.”

“We hope uniting as a community will help raise much-needed funds and show our support for the Hawkes Bay and Tararua districts. We are looking for businesses to donate goods or services, or come along and enjoy a great night,” says Geoff. 

Horowhenua District Council, through Local Government NZ’s “Adopt a Community”, has adopted Tararua District Council.  The Tararua district suffered 1,500 faults to their roading network as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, including 150 drop outs.  As at the time of distribution, they still had 27 roads closed.  Dannevirke continues to be on water restrictions, with precautionary boil water notices lifted over the weekend for Pongaroa and Ākitio.  

Mayor Bernie says “The road to recovery for all those impacted will be a marathon rather than a sprint, so its heartening that we can come together with the intent of raising as much money as we can to aid with that recovery.”

The event is supported by the Horowhenua District Council, Horowhenua Taste Trail, Lemonface Design, Get Content, and a collective of community members. 

Businesses or groups looking to sponsor the event or organise a fundraising activity can email

People looking to buy tickets can do so by visiting

Stay up to date with the event on the The Black Out. Horowhenua - Hawkes Bay - Tararua Facebook page