Hunt’s health kick

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Renowned New Zealand poet Sam Hunt is coming to Queenstown to help fundraise for a local rural health trust. 

Hunt, touring his unique brand of poetry to audiences for more than 40 years, kicks off the first fundraiser of a trust honouring the legacy of respected Wakatipu doctor the late Pat Farry. 

Farry passed away late in October, 2009, and the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust was set up the following year to support sustainable and quality health services in rural communities. 

Hunt is the opening act for the event on Saturday, March 10. His spot will be followed by dinner, an auction of Central Otago wine and local art before further entertainment from Queenstown band The Master Blasters. 

Hunt, who turns 66 in July, tells Mountain Scene from his home at Kaipara Harbour two hours north-west of Auckland that he always has a set list for performances but anything can happen on the night. 

“I’m always working on poems, and rehearsing poems and listening to poems. Some academic reckoned I’ve got between 3000 to 4000 poems in my head. 

“That’s a lot of other people’s poems as well as my own – thank God. I’d get very sick of it if it was all my stuff. 

“When you’ve got all that there in your head, what you do is something quite last minute, certainly to decide what poem I kick off on. The poem I kick off on sets the tone and you work within that.” 

Hunt says he loves the area with its powerful countryside and has fond memories of previous performances in Central Otago. 

The Farry trust operations manager Sarah Swale says the event is the first fundraiser for the trust, which will have some exciting initiatives to announce later this year. 

Items in the auction include a tasting tour of Gibbston with Alan Brady, the first man to plant grapes in the area, and art by local artists including Marilynn Webb.

All you need to know 

What: Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust fundraiser
Where: Millennium Hotel
When: March 10, 6.30pm
Cost: $130
Tickets: Contact Sarah Swale at info@patfarrytrust.co.nz or phone 441 2366