Fundraiser at Awapuni this weekend

Bella the English donkey and a friendly goat.
Bella the English donkey and a friendly goat.

Whitikahu’s Awapuni Stud is holding a great fundraiser this weekend.

“We have deer, goats, kunekune pigs, sheep, ducks and peacocks – you name it. People can look around the garden and enjoy the country ambience.

“In addition we’ll have tea and coffee for the adults and a barbeque,” says Jenny Clausen, who, with husband Bryan, has run the stud for more than 30 years.

There are about 20 donkeys on-site. “We are the only ones in New Zealand breeding Mammoth donkeys. As the name suggests, these animals are really big. We’ve also got English and dark-chocolate donkeys who are very pretty.”

Every year for almost 12 years Awapuni Stud has held fundraisers for good causes. This year’s one is for former Whitikahu resident Annette Devcich.

“Annette, who has just moved into Flagstaff, has cerebral palsy, and is deaf. She needs to buy a mobility vehicle from Australia, which she can get her wheelchair into so she can drive herself around.”

The two have known each other for some time – “We moved into Whitikahu in the same year, a good 40 years ago. I got to know her through things at school, garden club and tennis club. As the years have gone on, it’s got harder and harder for her.  So I thought about holding a fundraiser –  to be able to help her remain independent.”


Awapuni Donkey fundraiser
Surrounded by donkeys – Jenny and Annette with Rusty Girl keeping an eye on events.


Jenny was seriously burnt 18 years ago, and organised her first fundraiser to support the Waikato Hospital’s burns support unit.

“We’ve raised money most years since then, and raised money for the hydrotherapy pool, hospice, St Mary’s Church, the air ambulance and others.  It’s lovely being able to share what we’ve built here and to help others at the same time.”

The local community are all happy to help, she says. “I told the garden club and they said they’d help out on the day, as well as giving the first donation – $1000 – which is wonderful.  I need some young ones to help lead the donkeys, but I have grandchildren now, so they can do it.”

Living in Whitikahu is perfect. “My husband is outside all day, goes to the farm – our sons milk over 1000 cows on two farms.”

Which is just as well – “It wasn’t it my wedding vows 55 years ago that I had to milk cows!”

The fundraiser is at Awapuni Donkey Stud, 372 Whitikahu Rd, on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November. $5 per person, which allows one donkey ride – $2 for an extra ride. (“So the donkeys don’t get tired.”) Tea and coffee and free.

Share this page:


Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: