Singer Hayley Westenra has postponed an upcoming tour of her native New Zealand and will instead stage a huge benefit concert to help the survivors of the Christchurch earthquake. The soprano, who hails from Christchurch, was in London when the 7.1-magnitude earthquake shook her hometown last month, killing more than 160 people.
Westenra was unable to contact her family for hours after the tragedy and the devastation is weighing so heavily on her she has been forced to scrap a series of appearances and commitments and head home. And now she is working on a huge fundraising show in Auckland with all proceeds going to earthquake relief.
She also plans to stage a free show for Christchurch locals in a bid to boost morale. Westenra says, "As a Christchurch girl I am still in shock about what has happened to my beautiful home town. My heart breaks just thinking about those who have lost their lives and the families and friends that are now suffering. Putting on these concerts is the best way I know to help - it's my way of giving back to the city that means so much to me."