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Hundreds turn up to Tree of Light launch in Taumarunui


Hundreds turn up to Tree of Light launch in Taumarunui

An estimated 450 people from Taumarunui and surrounds celebrated Matariki with KCE this week (Monday 3 July). With hot drinks, snacks and glow sticks in hand, they witnessed Taumarunui’s new KCE Tree of Light shine brightly for the first time.

The tall tree, which stands proudly on Hakiaha Street next to the iconic moa, is a new initiative for the Taumarunui community from KCE. Adorned with colourful lights, it was first lit as part of Taumarunui Winter Festival Te Huapae o Matariki.

KCE community relations manager Helen Peacock said the purpose of the tree is to shine a light throughout the year on a range of special occasions and awareness events that are important to the local community.

“It will shine every evening, 365 nights per year, in a variety of colours for different causes. Currently, it is shining white until the end of the month to celebrate Matariki.

Helen said KCE is thrilled to have finally launched a Tree of Light in Taumarunui, after previously launching two other trees in Te Kuiti in 2015 and in Otorohanga this ANZAC Day.

“We were amazed at the incredible turnout from the Taumarunui community on Monday night. There are very few occasions in our town that draw that many people into the town centre at once. This truly was a unique event.

“Not only did the KCE tree look incredible, the whole town did too. Thousands of lights decorated the town centre in celebration of Matariki. We’re proud to be a part of the Taumarunui Winter Festival Te Huapae o Matariki and would like to thank all involved in making the festival happen,” she said.

During the launch, KCE also undertook a draw for one lucky KCE customer to win $500 off their power account. Local resident, Arin Austin won the draw, and also had the privilege of flicking the switch to power on the tree for the first time.

KCE encourages the community to submit causes for the tree to shine throughout the year.
“We want to remind the community that the tree is about highlighting causes and events year-round. We want to listen to ideas from our community. To submit a cause or event for the tree to shine for, community members can email treeoflight@kce.co.nz,” she said.

“The tree is a tangible, long-lasting way KCE can show our support for the local community and for the causes that are dear to them. We’re really stoked with how Taumarunui has taken to it – the event turnout is demonstrative of that.

The inaugural Tree of Light was established in Te Kuiti in December 2015 and has so far shone different colours for more than 25 causes and occasions. It has shone orange to raise awareness for victims of domestic abuse, purple to raise awareness for sufferers of epilepsy, green for World Environmental Day, pink for Breast Cancer Awareness week, and many more colours.

The Otorohanga tree was launched on ANZAC Day this year, as part of the Otorohanga Dawn Service.

Visit kcetreeoflight.co.nz for more information.

More information:

To submit a cause or event for the tree to shine for, community members should email their suggestion and an explanation totreeoflight@kce.co.nz. National and international awareness days, public holidays, and significant regional events will all be considered.

So far, the tree is scheduled to light for:

Month Lighting for Light duration
July WHITE for Matariki (Maori New Year) All July
August YELLOW for Daffodil Day 25 - 28 August
September BLUE for Prostate Cancer awareness All September
October PINK for Breast Cancer Awareness All October
November GREEN for Conservation Week 1 - 8 November
November RED for Armistice Day 11 November
November PURPLE for World Prematurity Day 17 November
November WHITE for White Ribbon 24 - 26 November 2017
December COLOURFUL for World Volunteer Day 5 December
December COLOURFUL for Christmas 6 December - 10 January 2018

-ENDS-

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