‘VanAid’ hoping to raise $50k for Vanuatu


Some of Nelson’s best chefs are contributing their skills to a fundraising event to help the Ni-Vanuatu people recover from Cyclone Pam.

Their gourmet canapés, together with local wines and music, will feature at the ‘Ni-Van Ni’s Up for Vanuatu’ fundraiser at The Boathouse on 28 April. There will also be music from a Vanuatu choir and a string band, plus auctions for flights and a holiday in Espirito Santo.

The event is being organised by Nelson VanAid, with all proceeds going directly to the Butterfly Trust for education and health programmes in rural Vanuatu.

Nelson VanAid was formed by Liz Price after she saw images of the devastating effect Cyclone Pam had on the small islands.

“I spent six months living in Vanuatu and I understand the rawness of life there,” she says. “When I saw the carnage Pam caused, on what is already a difficult existence, I just thought we have to do something.”

Two New Zealand lawyers living in Vanuatu established the Butterfly Trust. Liz says it makes sense to use an existing organisation, which already has credibility and a network in place: “They have experience, there are no overheads and all the money goes to the remote islands where it is needed.”

The Butterfly Trust has identified medical equipment and education as priority areas. Liz says there is an abundance of assistance going into Vanuatu right now from all over the globe, so the focus for her group is on the medium to long term.

“We are working on some exciting fundraising activities and the support has been great so far,” she says. “I believe together we can make a difference to the lives of ni Vanuatu who are living with the immense effects of Cyclone Pam.”

The Ni-Van Ni’s Up for Vanuatu is on Tuesday 28 April from 7pm at The Boathouse. Tickets are $50 and are available from Shine in Hardy St and Red Gallery on Bridge St or from Liz Price at [email protected]

Nelson VanAid hopes to raise $50,000 for the Butterfly Trust. Financial donations may be made to the bank account ASB 12-3233-0464934-01 with the reference VANAID.