“Another fantastic day on the harbour with the fish just rolling in and a hugely successful auction.”
Tinopai Primary School principal, Sonia Kaihe was “cleaning up” last Monday after the 19th annual Tinopai Fishing Contest, which raises funds for the small harbourside school.
Contestants had the inner and outer Kaipara waters to seek their catches, and category winners and the total funds raised were still being compiled as the Kaipara Lifestyler went to press.
“The lead-up to the day had been intense, culminating in the packing of the hangi the night before all tucked away in the chiller ready to go in the morning. Stage was set, prizes arranged, activities and jobs sorted, weather was checked, and the stalls were ready. As usual, the crowds didn’t start coming until around 1pm when the children’s sprat competitors lined up to weigh what they had caught.
“Ticket sales were slightly down on last year, with a number of other events happening around the district,” Sonia added. “But things were more than made up with items donated for auction, including a 2018 All Blacks jersey that attracted some competitive bidding and raised $1,200 on its own.
“Our auctioneer was stock agent Shane Wintle, who did a great job. Another item that went to a keen bidder was a pillow apparently used by Sonny Bill Williams to sleep on during a flight.
We’ve kept the winning bid quiet in case he might be discouraged in future — and speaking of the future, next year, of course, is our 20th contest — so we are already planning to make it a milestone event. Look out for a jazz band, celebrity guests — particularly those who have been instrumental in making this an iconic harbour event over two decades.”