Great vibe at Saturday's community event

Tuesday 5 March, 2024

The sun came out on Saturday for the free community event Tū Whitia – Stand & Shine to mark one year since Cyclone Gabrielle.

This event was supported by Gisborne District Council with funding from Trust Tairāwhiti.

Event organiser Merle Walker described the day as a positive way for everyone to band together after the weather events of last year.

“It was a great turnout.

“It was a hot day, so the children loved the bouncy castles that had water as part of the fun, and there was a free sausage sizzle and plenty of entertainment for the whole family.

“Thank you to the community for coming down to support this event together.

“It was inspiring to see how many people turned up.”

Held at the Gisborne Soundshell and the Adventure Playground the event kicked off at 3pm with several thousand people coming and going until it finished at 8.30pm.

The old-school water-dunk games had queues of children on the sunny day and all ages were catered for with gazebos, couches and snacks set up for kaumatua to enjoy a view of the stage from the shade.

“Thank you to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa for providing this space, which they donated and created themselves. Thanks also to Isaac Ngatai for coming down on behalf of community police, Primal Fitness and MC’s Turanga FM presenters Rāhia Timutimu and Matai Smith for keeping the crowd upbeat between performances.”

Many families brought picnics and set up in the Adventure Playground where there were bouncy castles and the Lion’s Club train offering rides. Later in the evening, dedicated Tami Neilson fans came down, especially for her set at the end.

Merle said there was a “great vibe” on the ground, and everyone loved the kaupapa to come together as a community a year after the cyclone hit.

“The event was well supported by everyone.

“Evening entertainers Scribe and Tami Neilson both gave substantial discounts off their fees, Pro Traffic donated all their services for free and Hāpai Te Haura (Smokefree) donated 1000 sausages.

“Thanks to my crew, and everyone who contributed to make this event. The Top Town event was a lot of fun and it’d be great to bring this concept back again.”

Picture of Tami Nelison on stage below taken by Tama Tea.

Tami Neilson on stage March 2024

March 2024 event bouncy castle kids fun

Tu Whita March 2024 event