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‘Massive weekend of fundraising’ for Cyclone Gabrielle victims

Monday 6 March 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Local, National


‘Massive weekend of fundraising’ for Cyclone Gabrielle victims
Bishop Tutai Pere has been appointed the commander in chief and chief of operations of Operation Tauturu Aotearoa. Picture: SBMA

Dates have been set for a “massive weekend of fundraising” in Rarotonga to support victims and aid recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand.

Former Speaker of Cook Islands Parliament Norman George, the spokesperson for “Operation Tauturu Aotearoa”, said they have decided to do one massive weekend of fundraising from 12 noon, Friday, March 17 to Sunday, March 19, 2023.

“We launch at 12 noon on Friday with telephone radio appeal until 6pm; there will be a food and musical festival at the Terevete Park opposite the Catholic Church at 6pm,” George revealed.

“On Saturday 18.3.23, there will be breakfast at the Aroanui Hall in Arorangi at 6am to 9am, hosted by the three Puaikura MPs, then dinner at 6pm at the Coastal Kitchen, $100 a plate at Derek Fox’s in Tupapa, followed by an auction.

“On Sunday 19.3.23, last day, we hold a combined Thanksgiving Prayer Service at 6pm at the National Auditorium, prayers for us and the people of Aotearoa.

“All islands are asked to work together and use the BCI (Bank of Cook Islands) to place their money in for transfer to the Tauturu Bank Account in Rarotonga.”

George said they were seeking some kind of sponsorship, discount and help to support this operation as well as more volunteers.  

For more information contact Doreen Boggs on phone 55583 and/or Ngamau Tou 71526.

Meanwhile the committee to oversee a public appeal to support victims and aid recovery has appointed Pastor Tutai Pere as the commander in chief and chief of operations, assisted by deputies Billy Ingram and Tony Tou.

In a flyer launched last month, George writes: “Deaths, landslides, flooding, road destruction, property damage – too many to mention. Our mission is to do what we can to help Aotearoa in their hour of need. We stood with them in two world wars. Now big Brother needs us again. Let’s respond with love, loyalty and commitment.”

While George said he had contacted Government with a proposal to work closely with them in a combined effort to “assist our brothers and sisters in NZ”, he was prepared to press on, with or without Government assistance.

He recalled being part of a fundraising effort here following Cyclone Bola in 1988, which raised more than $60,000.