Celeb News

Richie and Gemma McCaw deliver Christmas cheer to Kaikoura

The pair were a welcome sight for a community still rebuilding itself after last year's devastating earthquake.

By Emma Land

Richie McCaw and wife Gemma McCaw have delivered the Queen's Baton to Kaikoura as part of its nationwide tour ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The former All Blacks captain choppered his wife and the royal cargo into the quake stricken town. Their visit brought some much needed Christmas cheer to locals still recovering from last year's devastating earthquake.

The baton is on its final leg of a 230,000-kilometre voyage around the Commonwealth ahead of the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in April.

"It's nice that they came out and we got to put a smile on their faces so that was pretty cool," Richie said.

"It's little communities like this which are where a lot of our sports stars come from and this place has had a tough time so it's good to be able to stop in and hopefully inspire some kids."

Following his retirement from the All Blacks Richie became an owner of Christchurch Helicopters, where he is working as a pilot. He helped deliver supplies to the town in the days and weeks following the earthquake.

Richie McCaw and Prime Minister John Key during a visit to Kaikoura on November 14th 2016 following the  7.5 magnitude earthquake.
Richie McCaw and Prime Minister John Key during a visit to Kaikoura on November 14th 2016 following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

"We were here from the word go and then in and out for about six weeks. It hits home when you arrive to collapsed houses but it's amazing what communities do when they're put in those sort of circumstances, they bind together and get things going again which is what's happened here."

Richie and Gemma show off the baton with local children during the Queens Baton Relay event.
Richie and Gemma show off the baton with local children during the Queens Baton Relay event.

Former Black Sticks hockey player Gemma was happy to be given the opportunity to help a community in need.

"It's a real pleasure to be able to bring the Baton to this community. Over the last while they've faced some adversity so it's good to be able to do something nice for some of the kids and families which were affected," she said.

The McCaws are set to celebrate their first wedding anniversary on January 14th after marrying in a lavish ceremony in Wanaka earlier this year.