Relay For Life 2019



We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who made our Relay for Life 2019 events so successful. Together we raised over $335,000 across the three events (Queenstown, Wanaka & Otago Students). 


Relay For Life Queenstown

On the 16th & 17th March at Lake Hayes Pavilion, Queenstown hosted its first ever Relay for Life and what an incredible and inspiring community event it was!

In total we had 40 registered teams and over 465 participants. Everyone had a ball coming together to raise money for the Cancer Society to continue its work with those affected by cancer in your community.

We couldn't have asked for better weather as we set up for Relay For Life Queenstown at Laye Hayes pavilion, over-looking over the picturesque Lake Hayes. The event was opened with our Walk of Honour where over 70 survivors and carers were celebrated and proudly walked around the track.

The event then burst into life as the entertainment kicked off with a back to back line up of Queenstown’s finest musicians, bands and entertainers. If you weren’t walking, there was something to keep everyone entertained. Local groups offered boxing and jiu jitsu lessons, human foosball, meditation and you could even build your own tool box with Mitre10!

In the evening we shared a very moving candle light ceremony together which gave us an opportunity to reflect, remember our loved ones lost to cancer and come together as a community to support those currently fighting. We walked through the darkness of the night and  24 hours later, celebrated the light & hope in the closing ceremony.

As a community, Queenstown raised over $151,000 for the Cancer Society. This completely blew everyone’s expectations.

Organising this event truly made me feel so proud to be a Queenstowner. The way in which the community came together to support each other was incredibly special. Every local business I approached for services or supplies, immediately offered a discount  - or in many cases, offered their services completely free! We had over 20 activities & entertainers that all offered their time for free, and over 25 volunteers for who selflessly gave up their time to support the event. It was a collective of all these people coming together that made this event possible.

Queenstown is a united team – we will support you through the losses, share your wins and we are constantly fighting back against cancer.

My sincere thanks to everyone who chose to support this event – you’ve made a huge impact to our community and you’ve left me inspired.

 - Shantelle Cockroft-Gerken, Events & Community Campaigns Coordinator


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Relay For Life Wanaka

Wanaka's first-ever Relay For Life exceeded all of our expectations - both in your incredible fundraising efforts and the support we received from the Wanaka community as a whole. The event brought people of all ages together from all across the region -  we laughed, cried, danced, sang, and had loads of fun.  But above all, we came together honour and support those who have been affected by cancer, and to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back by walking the Relay For Life. 

A total of 37 teams, ranging in size from just 1 team member to over 20, took part on a perfect Wanaka weekend. The youngest registered team member was just 3 years old and the oldest was 76. The sun shone and the surrounding mountains and lake provided a truly special location for over 400 Relay For Life Wanaka participants.

This really was an occasion for the whole community! The central location meant that many visitors and tourists dropped in and added to the atmosphere - one group even decided mid-afternoon on the Saturday to enter a team and join the fun.

The Walk of Honour lap for survivors and carers was incredibly powerful. It gave a sense of just how many in our community are directly affected by cancer. Coming together for the Candlelight Ceremony was an amazing experience allowing us to take the time to support one another as we remembered those we have lost. We were privileged to hear from local residents at both the Opening and Candlelight Ceremonies. Kent Allan, MJ Muller, Gillian Robinson and James Brewer kindly shared their personal stories and reflected on how important the Cancer Society is to the community.

Local talent was showcased on the Mitre10 Main Stage as we were entertained by musicians, dancers and other performances. A highlight was definitely the karaoke on Saturday evening when the crowd were able to have their moment in the limelight! Children old and young had a ball playing non-stop in the Ray White Activity Zone and the students from Mt Aspiring College added an extra spark to the event with their youthful enthusiasm and sense of fun.

We achieved an incredible fundraising total of over $80,000 thanks to the amazing efforts of our teams and generous donations from local organisations.

A special mention to the Tidy Gardens team who raised over $11,000 themselves!

We would like to acknowledge the huge input from our major partner Mitre10 in terms of funding, team participation, prizes and support. Thank you to Radio Wanaka for their continuous support and promotion of the event in the lead up and throughout the weekend. A special mention to Ray White Wanaka who backed the Ray White Activity Zone and Kelly Good who assisted with MCing duties.

Our gratitude goes out to all our other sponsors, suppliers, entertainers, staff, volunteers and the amazing committee who made it all happen. But mostly importantly to the teams, the Wanaka community, who brought this event to life – THANK YOU!! 

 - Jane Sharman, Relay For Life Wanaka Coordinator

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Relay For Life Otago Students


The 4th Otago Students Relay for Life was a huge success. We had a record 56 teams register with 1,000 participants walking the track from 6pm to 6am.

While the majority of participants were students, there were also plenty of teams made up of staff members from the University and Polytechnic, as well as from other local schools and businesses. 

 The Otago Students Relay is the only student-run relay in New Zealand - organised by students with guidance from the Cancer Society.  And what an incredible job they did! Led by Committee Chair, Alesha East, the team brought all of their energy, creativity and dedication to this amazing event. We would like to thank the committee for all their hard work;

Alesha East : Committee Chair

Dylan Davies: Whip

Hannah MacDonald: Marketing

Cyleste Fister: Team Liaison

Georgia Beverley : Team Liaison

Miguel Sanchez: Entertainment Co-Ordinator

Rufaro Chengeta; Entertainment Co-ordinator

Latisha Lee: Logistics/Operations

The weather was fantastic, and the entertainment kept everyone moving throughout the night. Many thanks to the Vice Chancellor of the University for allowing us to hold the event on campus, as it makes the event extremely special.

We were privileged to hear both this year’s Otago Students Relay for Life Ambassador, Steve Downey, and Dr Chris Jackson, speak at the Candlelight Ceremony at midnight. This was followed by Lani Alo performing two beautiful songs (one an original).  Later into the night, the wearable arts competition and blind date were popular activities among the students.

Alesha East, the Relay Committee chair, closed the event, announcing some prize winners and the amount raised.

A huge thanks to everyone involved who made this event such a huge success – the Committee, staff, our incredible volunteers, participants, entertainers and photographers (who all gave their time for free).

We must also thank our major partner, Mediaworks and the huge number of sponsors & event supporters who help make this event happen.

 - Tracey Fleet, Events & Community Campaigns Team Leader