Hutt at Heart
Ara Mai! Te Whiti Riser Night Walk September 28, 2019

Hutt Valley steps up to raise thousands for charity at night walk

Thousands of people from across the region got active and lit up the Ara Mai Te Whiti Riser Night Walk on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September.

More than 3500 people of all ages and fitness levels took time out of their Friday and Saturday nights to head up then down the 4km track for the night time bush walk.

For the third successive year, event participants were treated to a walk festooned with all kinds of coloured lights, illuminated decorations and glow in the dark fun.

Ara Mai! Te Whiti Riser Night Walk September 28, 2019Recreation Programmer Aileen Campbell said it had been an amazing event.

“It was great to see so many people from our local communities of Naenae, Taita and Waiwhetu, as well as visitors from Upper Hutt and Wellington, play their part in making this event such a success.

“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 than this delivered.

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

Aileen said they were also really proud of their progress around waste minimisation at the event.

“We trialled solar lights, purchased reuseable equipment and used reuseable cups for our House of Travel hot chocolate stand.”

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

She also paid tribute to the level of support the event had enjoyed from local business and the volunteers from inside and outside Hutt City Council.

“In total, our volunteers donated 804 hours across the two nights to set up, help out, run the event and then pack everything away afterwards.

“Without their support, as well as the support of our event partners, House of Travel Lower Hutt and Atiawa Toa FM, this event would not have been possible.”

The event was also a great introduction and precursor to the HighLight: Carnival of Lights event taking place on Labour Weekend.

Aileen said the event had received strong, positive feedback on social media.

People said they “enjoyed the atmosphere of walking at night for the first time” and that they “enjoyed every step watching people from different walks of life, walking and sharing the moments together”.

The lights among the trail were also “a delight to experience.”

The Active in the Hutt Team were looking forward to bringing the event back to Lower Hutt again next year, Aileen said.

Ara Mai! Te Whiti Riser Night Walk September 28, 2019

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