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26 May 2023 - The Sunrise Foundation Cyclone bridge

Long-term resilience more important than ever.

With many in our extended community facing loss and devastation following Cyclone Gabrielle, it’s been humbling to be at the receiving end of so much aroha and support from across the country.   

As the rest of New Zealand witnessed images of devastation, many felt compelled to offer financial assistance. They reached out to us at Sunrise, confident we would have a solid grasp of where the greatest need in our community was and how to best respond.  

Responding to natural disasters is not our core business, however we understood how important it was that we became involved, helping those in our community who needed it. Over $100,000 of donations passed through Sunrise, granted to various groups affected by the cyclone.  

“Until you walk through something like this, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s taught us we need to be nimble in terms of our response and has reiterated the importance of growing our General fund,” says Glenda Stokes, Sunrise executive officer.  

We can’t predict what the needs of our community in the future will be, and the advantage of the General fund is that it will always be flexible, able to respond to those changes as and when they happen.   

Although Glenda wasn’t personally affected by the cyclone, some of her close friends and whanau were significantly impacted. She says seeing first-hand the impact and devastation of the cyclone highlighted the need for long-term resilience.  

“If I dared to dream a big dream, it would be that the General fund will grow to the size where we would be making a huge difference to this community every year forever,” says Glenda.  
Click here to donate to our General fund.


Let’s support them, so they can support us!   

Eastland Rescue Helicopter, Gisborne Volunteer Centre, LandSAR, St John Gisborne- Tairāwhiti and SuperGrans each have a special interest fund with Sunrise, and all played a vital role during and after the cyclone. 

We’d like to thank them for the endless hours spent helping those in our community who desperately needed them. 

We urge people to look to the future and help grow these funds, where they are guaranteed a grant from Sunrise every year forever. This helps ensure they will be there for our community in future times of need as we work towards building long-term resilience.