Role in Shortland Street up for grabs at charity auction

The Gay Auckland Business Association’s glittering signature charity event is back for 2012 – and more glamorous than ever!

Auckland’s leading business people, businesses and supporters in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities will gather in The Great Room of The Langham Hotel on Sunday 14 October for their premier charity event of the year.

The annual GABA Charity Auction & Dinner is the primary fundraiser for the GABA Charitable Trust, which has given out community grants and scholarships totalling well over $200,000 throughout the last decade.

In the current economic climate, the real need for GABA grants amongst the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities has never been greater. Last year’s GABA Charity Auction & Dinner was a record-breaking success, raising close to $30,000 for the Trust to distribute back to the community.

This year’s GABA Deluxe Charity Auction & Dinner is proud to be produced with the support of the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Trust, an organisation which encourages diversity by promoting the recruitment and development of people on the basis of merit and generates awareness of the business benefits and rewards of an inclusive workplace.

GABA is also grateful for the ongoing support of associate sponsors, The Langham, Switch Bar, Express magazine,, First Scene and Get It On!

GABA Deluxe’s Master of Ceremonies has been confirmed as star of stage and screen, Andrew Laing, who says he’s “thrilled to be associated with such a worthwhile and important event!”

“I’m excited to lend my support to an organisation that gives so very much to the LGBT peoples of Auckland,” says Laing, who is perhaps best known for his role as Dr Geoff Greenlaw on Shortland Street and is currently singing up a storm in The Red Chair at Auckland’s Q Theatre.

Laing’s troupe of glamorous assistants for the night will include Pacific drag icons Buckwheat and Tess Tickle, contemporary dancer Christopher Olwage (recently seen on New Zealand’s Got Talent), and New Zealand’s Queen of Burlesque, Miss Leda Petit. Back again as GABA Auctioneer is Michelle Maitland from George Walkers Auctions.

GABA Deluxe’s programme of Vegas-style live entertainment features multi-talented contemporary dancer, singer and burlesque performer Will Barling (also currently appearing in The Red Chair), accompanied by showgirls Maria Munkowits and Amanda Macfarlane from La Belle Follies and Mary Jane O’Reilly’s In Flagrante burlesque productions.

The GABA Deluxe theme is in keeping with the gilded opulence of The Great Room at The Langham. In addition to the charity auction and live entertainment, the black-tie-optional occasion will include champagne on arrival and a superb, three-course, silver service dinner.

“The GABA Charity Auction is a fantastic opportunity for fun and fabulosity,” says GABA President Michael Richardson. “But most importantly, it gives participants the opportunity to contribute to the GABA Charitable Trust. Donations from this event enable the Trust to provide funds to individuals and institutions for the explicit purpose of health, welfare and support services for the benefit of the LGBT community of New Zealand.”

Auction items already confirmed include, a four-person personal tour of the TVNZ newsroom and private viewing of Fair Go’s taping with Alison Mau; artworks by Reuben Paterson and Graeme Hitchcock; a walk-on-role experience for two people on Shortland Street; and dinner-for-two at the home of Labour MP and same-sex marriage champion Louisa Wall! More auction donations will be announced closer to the event.

“The GABA Charity Auction is the biggest night of the fundraising year for the Trust,” says GABA Charitable Trust Chair Gresham Bradley. “Every year, individuals and businesses throughout New Zealand generously donate a huge variety of increasingly unique items and activities that simply can’t be purchased. Of course, the much needed money cannot be raised without all the wonderful people that come on the night, dress up and dig deep to bid!”

“This year, the Trust is very pleased to announce that it is opening up a third category of grants, in addition to the GABA Tertiary Scholarships and Community Grants,” adds Bradley. “These new Pride Festival Grants will support organisations and groups wishing to participate in the inaugural Auckland Pride Festival in February 2013.”

GABA is currently seeking the donation of auction items. Donating to the GABA Charity Auction & Dinner is a fun and philanthropic way to support and strengthen New Zealand’s LGBT communities.

To donate an auction item for this year’s charity fundraiser, please contact Event Manager Julian Cook, before Sunday 7 October, by emailing:

GABA Deluxe
Charity Auction & Dinner 2012

Ticketing and Event Information:

Where: The Great Room, The Langham Hotel
83 Symonds Street, Grafton, Auckland

When: Sunday 14 October, 2012
Doors open at 4.30pm
Dining and Auction commence at 6pm
After-Party from 10pm at Switch Bar (upstairs, 309 Karangahape Road)

Ticketing Information:

GABA has minted a special Platinum Pass for this year’s Charity Auction & Dinner.

Tickets are $135 per person, which includes the charity auction and live entertainment, champagne on arrival and a superb, three-course, silver service dinner.

A special group booking rate of $125 per person is available for tables of 10.

There are several easy options to secure your GABA Deluxe Platinum Passes for this year’s LGBT charity event of the year:

1. Email to arrange payment by credit card, or direct credit into the GABA bank account: ANZ 01 0249 0194883 00

2. GABA Deluxe Platinum Passes are available to purchase in person at the following LGBT outlets: Urge Bar, Marvel Menswear and The Women’s Bookshop

Auction Donation Information:

To donate an auction item for the GABA Deluxe Charity Auction & Dinner 2012, please contact GABA Event Manager Julian Cook, before Sunday 7 October, by emailing:

On 60 Minutes this week…

60 Minutes
7.30pm, Sunday, October 7 2012


When people think of tax havens they usually think of the Cook Islands, Panama or the Cayman Islands, but what many people may not realise is that one of the best places to shelter treasure is right here in New Zealand.

New Zealand allows thousands of foreigners to set up secret trusts. They pay no tax here and they tell the IRD almost nothing about who set the trust up, where the money comes from, or who benefits from it.

From offices in Auckland and around New Zealand, lawyers and accountants tout for work as trustees for some of the world’s wealthiest firms and families.

But how did how New Zealand became this accidental tax haven? 60 Minutes reporter, Guyon Espiner investigates.


We all want to fit in. That’s just the way we’re wired. But for Igor, blending into the crowd is an impossible dream.

Igor is dangerously tall – 8 foot – and getting bigger by the day. While the first thing you notice about Igor is undoubtedly his height, spend some time with him and you realise he’s also charming, funny, complex and heartbreakingly lonely.

He also has the biggest smile you’ll ever see – you just have to find a way to coax it out of him.


His name is Bond. James Bond. And he has to be the coolest chap on the planet. He’s triumphed over scores of unforgettable villains, bedded hundreds of beautiful women and saved the world over and over again.

Fifty years have passed since Sean Connery first shrugged on a dinner jacket and ordered his martini shaken, not stirred. And now we’re gearing up for movie number 23, Skyfall.

Starring the famously muscle-bound Daniel Craig, Skyfall will no doubt be another blockbuster for a franchise that’s become one of the most successful in movie history.