Love and support overwhelming


By Robyn Bristow

The rural township of Waiau was at the epicentre of the 7.8 earthquake that rocked North Canterbury last month. Waiau School Principal Mary Kimber says the out pouring of love and support for her pupils since has been overwhelming. It ranges from messages from school children throughout New Zealand, homebaking, toys and food. The letter below to Ms Kimber, from a north Auckland school girl on behalf of her Wentworth College Year 8 class, is one of the “most amazing” expressions of support.

Dear Miss Kimber,

My name is Bront Heath and I am in Year 8 at Wentworth College in the north of Auckland. We are a small school with just 60 students in the primary school and 200 in the college.

My fellow students and I were devastated to hear about the Kaikoura earthquake and the impact it has had on your community and especially your students.

My extended family was very affected by the Christchurch earthquake and I experienced many strong aftershocks myself. I know firsthand just how frightening they are, and how anxious you feel waiting for the next one to come.

As a school, we would very much like to help some of the children affected, and as Waiau is a small school with a strong community such as ours, we felt strongly that your school was the one we wanted to help.

My mother has also since learned she has a connection to Tom and Kate Galbraith’s family, so that makes it even more special.

We are currently in the midst of organising 100 care packages for the children in your community.

We are unsure of your exact roll but thought there may be younger or older siblings who we could also help.

These packages contain a reading book, a colouring book, assorted stationary, toys and sweets.

My father’s company would also like to donate $500 to your local dairy so that we can make a $5 voucher for each child to spend there too.

Firstly, I would like your permission for us to send these gifts to your children.

Secondly, I was wondering if you are able to give us a first name and age for each child receiving a gift, so that we can put a personalised note in each box.

Thirdly, we would appreciate it if you could give us a contact for the dairy owner so that we can arrange to get the money to them.

We are anticipating a large response in our community this week.

Any excess money we receive above what we need for the boxes, we will donate to the Givealittle page for the rebuild of your school pool.

I do so hope that you will allow us to do this for the children at Waiau School.

They really are in our thoughts and prayers.

If you would like to confirm that this is a legitimate offer, please feel free to contact Assistant Principal of Wentworth College Mr Lee at

I very much look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

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