RNZB Teams Up With Food Banks

Royal New Zealand Ballet supports local food banks during Hansel & Gretel national tour

The Royal New Zealand Ballet is teaming up with food banks in seven cities during November – December. During the Ryman Healthcare Season of Hansel & Gretel, opening in Wellington on 6 November, the national ballet company will be collecting donations of non-perishable food and personal care items at performances, and enouraging audience members to lend their support in the lead up to Christmas.

“Hansel & Gretel is a magical fairy tale, but for many children and families in New Zealand, poverty and hunger is an evil daily reality” says Artistic Director, Patricia Barker. “From conception to reality, I wanted Hansel & Gretel to have a greater message and give us the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives by bringing awareness to children’s hunger in Aotearoa.” 

“With a hungry family at the heart of our story we have found a way to make a difference this Christmas by teaming with local organisations, who provide for the most vulnerable in our communities. We ask everyone to remember what Christmas means –­ a time of sharing, a time of gathering and a time for compassion for others. Let’s stand together to fight hunger.”

Collection bins for food banks, in each centre that the Royal New Zealand Ballet will be visiting, will be placed in theatre foyers during performances, with audience members able to drop off donations when they attend a performance. With more than 14,000 seats already filled nationwide, there’s the potential for New Zealand ballet lovers to make a real difference this Christmas.

Season sponsor Ryman Healthcare is also getting in on the act, with collection drives in Ryman villages around the country.

The RNZB’s Auckland season at the Aotea Centre will coincide with the Auckland City Mission’s Christmas appeal and dancers in costume will join the Mission’s volunteers for a ‘bucket rattle’ after the Hansel & Gretelperformance on Friday 6 December.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has set up an information page at where people wishing to get behind this appeal can find out how to connect directly with their local food bank to make a donation of non-perishable food, personal care items or cash.

Collections at theatres during the Ryman Healthcare Season of Hansel & Gretelare as follows:

Opera House, Wellington                         6 – 9 November        Wellington City Mission

Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North   13 November     Palmerston North Methodist Social Services

Municipal Theatre, Napier                        16 – 17 November    Napier Community Food Bank

Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch             21 – 23 November    Christchurch City Mission

Civic Theatre, Invercargill                         27 November           Southland Food Bank

Regent Theatre, Dunedin                         30 November           Dunedin Society of St Vincent de Paul

Aotea Centre, Auckland                            5 – 7 December        Auckland City Mission

Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna                 13 – 14 December    Auckland City Mission