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Gisborne Bar & Bands Raise Money for Flood Victims

Gisborne Bar and Bands Raise Money for Flood Victims

Gisborne bands and other performers are coming together for a one-off concert at The Irish Rover this Thursday to raise money for flood victims in the lower North Island.

The concert, organised by Gisborne woman Trish Riki, will be from 6pm and feature local bands such as Skankamelia and Refractory. DJ Dr Livingstone, hip hop artists and other talent will also perform.

“There will be a huge diversity of sounds and styles catering to most musical tastes,” said Miss Riki.

Miss Riki, who also helps run Champagne Country Cuisine, said she was moved to organise the concert after seeing the plight of flood victims in the news.

"I decided to do it as I just feel for those people so much. My heart goes out to them. I'm sure that the whole country is feeling it, it's right on our doorstep."

She said she had coordinated the bulk of the concert only 48 hours after first having the idea. Money will be raised by asking concert-goers to make a donation at the door.

Entertainers performing on Thursday night are donating their time for free and Kieran Grealish, owner of The Irish Rover is providing the venue for the event.

"I've had so much help. This idea has snowballed. Friends, colleagues and others have called on their networks and everyone has pitched in to help. Thanks must also go to the friends and staff of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Whirikoka Campus for their help."

Foxton dairy farmers Devon and Hamish Easton, who have family in Gisborne, were evacuated from their farm early last week. The couple said they were amazed to hear people from as far away as the East Cape were keen to lend a hand.

"Families down here have been devastated," Mrs Easton said.

"You can't imagine what homes that have been flooded look like inside. Silt up to the windowsills and random belongings floating past. At first we worried most about saving stock and keeping people safe. Now we are into the practicalities of recovering from this event."

Mrs Easton said a week into the disaster the response from the rest of the country had been overwhelming. She wondered if memories of Cyclone Bola were prompting the Gisborne public's generosity.

"I didn't realise this happened in New Zealand any more. I thought that community atmosphere had gone but the money and donations pouring in have totally restored my faith in New Zealand communities."

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