‘Bring 'em to Blossy’
Following the Auckland Anniversary weekend floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) initiated the Adopt-a-Community campaign, where more than 30 councils in New Zealand adopted one of the affected areas. Efforts were made to raise money for the Mayoral Relief Fund, kids from schools in unaffected areas became pen pals with affected schools, and so forth.
As the instigator of the campaign, Mayor Tim Cadogan of the Central Otago District Council was always concerned that the sharing of aroha stayed alive, as the difficulties faced by the affected communities would not be short-term.
Central Otago has adopted Central Hawkes Bay, and with a view to showing our adopted community that we are still thinking of them, raising more funds for the relief fund, and giving some deserving people a break, we have come up with “Bring ‘em to Blossy”.
The Mayor of Central Hawkes Bay, Alex Walker, has identified a family who have been hit hard by the cyclone. They are Creedenz Karaitiana, who owns the Porangahau Garage and his mum, Ngaira Walford. Creedenz has owned the garage seven years, but it has been shut since the cyclone hit. The photo above shows why.
The garage is slowly being rebuilt and the pressure the whole disaster has had on Creedenz and the wider family has been profound.
Contact’s Whirinaki power station, which is located in Hawkes Bay, was impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle too, and their team worked tirelessly to get things back online as quickly as possible.
Our good friends at Air New Zealand have given us airfares to get these two down and back, CODC has secured accommodation, the Blossom Festival has organised a car and tickets, Contact Energy (Principal Sponsor of the Festival) will be matching donations collected at the Festival for the Central Hawkes Bay Mayoral Fund up to $2,000, and Highlands Motorsport Park has a morning of high speed thrills lined up for Creedenze and Ngaira.
Creedenz and Ngaira fly into Queenstown on Thursday 21 September and leave on Sunday, in time to enjoy everything Central Otago has to offer, including the festival Mardi Gras on the evening of Friday 22 September and the festival Grand Parade and Party in the Park from noon on Saturday.
The effects of Gabrielle are still being felt every day by the people of the central North Island. “Bring ‘em to Blossy” is a good news story, reminding the communities affected that we have not forgotten them, and we still care.