Regional | Schools

Wairoa on the march to thank people who helped after the cyclone hit

Wairoa schoolchildren ready to march with their banner of thanks

By Tu Chapman

To celebrate the last day of the school term schools and Te Kahui Ako o Te Wairoa came together to thank the many people who helped them after Cyclone Gabrielle hit.

Their attention was focused on the bridge to North Clyde, the only way into town.

“The march across the bridge was about acknowledging our whānau on this side, which is North Clyde, and letting the whānau know that we haven’t forgotten on the other side,” Wairoa Primary principal and Te Kahui Ako lead Richard Lambert said. It was also to let all of Aotearoa know that “we appreciate all the kai, koha and kindness that has been sent”.

Te Rāwhitiora Edwards-Hammond from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wairoa said the day was about lifting the spirits of the community and he thought the day was awesome.

Residents were feeling tired and spirits were low but the community's resilience had prevailed.

Wairoa recovery manager Benita Tahuri said Wairoa had been receiving aid from across New Zealand. She said that support was still coming in but it was nowhere near enough and there was still a lot of work ahead of the community.