Local event recognised as “outstanding” at national awards

The amazing contribution the Lower Hutt community made to the Ara Mai! Te Whiti Riser Night Walk has been recognised at a national awards.

The unique Night Walk which has become the largest active event in the Hutt Valley, won the Outstanding Event of 2019 Award at the Recreation Aotearoa Awards on Thursday night.

More than 3500 people of all ages and fitness levels from Naenae, Taita, Waiwhetu, Wellington and Upper Hutt, walked the four kilometre Te Whiti Riser track through regenerating native bush.

For the third successive year, event participants enjoyed the beautiful forest walk accented with all kinds of coloured lights and musical performances.

Hutt City Council Recreation Programmer Aileen Campbell paid tribute to the outstanding support the event had received from its partners and the community.

“This fantastic community event would not have been possible without the amazing support of our partners, House of Travel Lower Hutt, White Ribbon NZ and Atiawa Toa FM.

“We are incredibly grateful to the 804 volunteer hours donated by people inside and outside Hutt City Council, who gave up their weekend to make this event such a success.”

The event also raised $4432 for the White Ribbon charity, an amazing example of the generosity of the walk participants, Aileen said.

“In terms of an event that provides a space for people to connect to their natural environment and communities while being active, we couldn’t have asked for anything more.

“It was also really impressive how people exceeded their own expectations of how far they were able to walk on the night.”

Ara Mai was delivered in partnership with Te Rūnanganui o Te Atiawa and supported by House of Travel Lower Hutt, while raising funds for White Ribbon New Zealand.

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