Tairua Paddle for Humanity Raises $6,500

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Paddle for Humanity in Tairua, New Zealand, this year was the best yet. In spite of the pre-event nerves caused by shark activity, 200 people took to the water in support of the Mentawai people and the rest pioneered the Tairua Walk for Humanity. 

The Manager of the SurfAid Schools Program, Milton Brown, was very impressed with the turnout. “Tairua is a great example of a small surfing community with a very big heart,” Brown said. “The way they join together to help another community in need is living proof that local action creates global citizenship."

Tairua School Principal Brendan Finn said he was completely overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm shown by the students, parents and community for the Paddle for Humanity. “This event was once again a huge success for everyone involved and the new format worked exceptionally well,” Finn said. “There is an old saying - 'through crisis comes opportunity'. We had a difficult preparation for this year’s paddle due to the shark activity in and around the harbour, and as a result we introduced the Walk for Humanity, which was a gem of an idea and has provided us with the vehicle to further grow and develop this event.”

The Tairua community raised $6,500 this year, with a total of $14,500 raised over the past three years. Finn is proud of the financial contribution they have made to the building of a new school in Masokut, on Sipora Island, after a tsunami devastated the original village in 2010.  

He is equally excited by the effect the students’ initiative is having on the local community, with people working creatively to further develop the concept of Global Citizenship on a larger community scale.

“Already businesses and sponsorship have been endorsed for 2014 and we will be reviewing this year’s event with our students to ensure next year’s is bigger and better,” Finn said.

Tairua School would like to thank the following sponsors who contributed towards the 2013, Paddle for Humanity, On A Mission, Anderson Surfboards, Punters Bar and Grill, 8 Club Holdings, Sea Escape, Billabong, RPM, Beyond the Blue and Puka Park.