Maoris help Gherkin challenge raise �275,000 for NZ earthquake appeal

Queues stretched round the block for the 1,000 volunteers who turned up to climb the iconic Gherkin tower to raise money for New Zealand’s earthquake appeal.

Some performed the traditional Maori Haka to prepare for the challenge to climb the 1,037 steps—almost one volunteer for every step up the 38-storey office block near Aldgate.

The sponsored challenge raised a mountainous �275,000 for the appeal following February’s earthquake which cost 180 lives and destroyed 10,000 homes in Christchurch.

Two volunteers even scaled the 550ft skyscraper in high heels, while some dressed as bottles of New Zealand wine and beer, one in a wedding dress, others in togas and ‘Flintstone’ costumes as the fundraising turned into a ‘fun’-raising with music, a Maori performance group and a barbecue.

Two Kiwi businessmen came up with the idea, Kent Gardner and Paul Kendrick from Evans Randall investment banking group that half-owns the ‘Gherkin’ in St Mary Axe. The company covered all costs as well as donating �50,000. All money raised is going directly to the appeal.

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