Horowhenua community raised over $100,000 towards cyclone relief

Published on April 14, 2023

Black Out event to raise money for Cyclone Gabrielle recovery.

The call was made and the Horowhenua community answered. Following a very successful Black Out fundraising campaign, $104,000 has been raised for our friends in the Tararua and Hawkes Bay districts.

“We set out with an ambitious goal of trying to raise $100,000 towards the cyclone relief efforts, and to get confirmation that we did it makes me immensely proud of our Horowhenua community,” says Mayor Bernie Wanden.

“This was an incredible effort and I want to thank everyone who has contributed, from those who put a donation in the bucket at a collection site to those who organised the campaign,” Mayor Bernie adds.

On Friday 31 March, Horowhenua ‘Blacked Out’ to show a united front for the Tararua and Hawkes Bay districts. Many schools and businesses, dressed in black, were collecting money to contribute to the fundraising efforts.

“It was so humbling to see the number of businesses that got behind this tremendous cause,” says Mayor Bernie. “The team at Council jumped at the opportunity to hit the streets to help with the collection and the generosity from the community was incredible.”

On Saturday 1 April, the Black Out event held at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō was attended by around 130 people. The event featured delicious food, incredible entertainment and an exclusive auction thanks to a number of very generous local businesses who donated incredible items and services. The guest list included Mayor Tracey Collis, Chief Executive Bryan Nicholson from Tararua District Council and Mayor Alex Walker and Chief Executive Doug Tate from Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.

“What a night we had. We were just blown away by the number of people who brought tickets and contributed to such a remarkable evening, it was fantastic seeing our community coming together for those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle,” says Kathy Mitchell of Bloom Consulting and one of the organisers of the event.

“There were some touching moments during the evening, seeing the footage of the devastation from the cyclone and having our visiting Mayors present. Moments like that reminded us why we did this and made it worthwhile,” says Catherine Lewis, Director of Lewis Farms and one of the event organisers.

All funds raised will be evenly split and donated to the Tararua Mayoral Relief Fund and Hawkes Bay Disaster Relief Fund.

Schools that dressed in black and sent in a photo to the Mayor will go in the draw to win a Pool Party at the Levin Aquatic Centre, which will be drawn this week by Mayor Bernie.

Horowhenua District Council will now deactivate its Mayoral Relief Fund. Anybody who still wants to donate towards the cyclone relief can do so directly to each Council’s Mayoral Relief Fund. Details can be found on their respective Council websites.