Wednesday, 12 August 2020


Bellyful Whitianga formally launched

Bellyful Whitianga, the 24th branch of the Bellyful New Zealand charity, was formally launched last Sunday afternoon outside the Mercury Bay Area School food technology room.

Bellyful provides frozen meals to families with newborn babies or families with young children where someone in the family is suffering a serious illness.

The launch was attended by approximately 30 people, including Charlotte Delahunty, the chief executive of Bellyful New Zealand. The guest of honour was MBAS principal, John Wright.

Prior to the launch, 11 people participated in Bellyful Whitianga’s first “cookathon.” Bellyful New Zealand’s four staple recipes - beef lasagne, spaghetti Bolognese, macaroni and cheese, and red lentil and tomato soup - were prepared in the MBAS food technology room. “We plan to have a cookathon every six weeks,” said Emily Pavey, one of the two Bellyful Whitianga coordinators. “Now we’re just waiting for the names of families we can help. It’s super exciting that we’re underway after less than six months of planning and fundraising.”

Fran Jack, the other Bellyful Whitianga coordinator, said at the launch that she and Emily were overwhelmed with the generosity of the Mercury Bay community. “We were donated all the cooking equipment we need, The Informer didn’t hesitate to sponsor our first cookathon and the Mercury Bay Lionesses is on board as the sponsors of our second cookathon,” she said. “We’re also humbled by all the people who put their hands up to help with our first cookathon.”

Prior to cutting the cake, John Wright said he didn’t hesitate to say “yes” when Emily and Fran asked him if the MBAS food technology room could be used for Bellyful Whitianga’s cookathons. “For our school it’s about paying it forward,” he said. “For me personally, it’s about paying it back. My family and I owe the Mercury Bay community a huge amount for the support they’ve given us since our arrival in Whitianga 18 years ago.”

Families who need support from Bellyful Whitianga can contact Emily of Fran through Facebook or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,nz. They can also Bellyful New Zealand through or freephone 0508 BELLYFUL. Families do not have to self-refer, a concerned friend or relative can also reach out to the charity.

Pictured: on the left is Cooks Beach resident, Paulette Tainsh, during the cookathon on Sunday (photo courtesy of Creative Images - Paul C Schrader). In the photo on the right is the cake being cut. Doing the honours are, from the left, Charlotte Delahunty, Emily Pavey, John Wright and Fran Jack.


Latest business rest of site


Years of experience in the electrical industry covering domestic, commercial, industrial, marine and air conditioning.


Will you be voting to legalise the recreational use of cannabis in the upcoming general election/referendum?

The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.