Madonna's ex-butler, a model, a politician, a rugby star and Kelly Tarlton's daughter were among the 300 guests at a lunch in Tauranga yesterday which raised more than $100,000 for two local charities.

The annual Ladies' Long Charity Lunch was organised by Bay philanthropist and owner of Brookfield New World, Lavina Good.

It raised the funds for two not-for-profit trusts; Te Aranui which works with troubled youth, and Good Neighbour which collects food waste from grocers and distributes it back into the community.

Good Neighbour collects around 10 tonnes of food waste a week, worth about $2.5m but Good said more could be done.

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"What we need in this country, is to make it illegal to throw food away. Businesses in Tauranga have a social conscience, they don't feel comfortable to throw it away and are more than willing to give us the food. Why stop in Tauranga? Let's hit the rest of New Zealand... It's time the government made food waste illegal... I am going to talk to Angela Warren-Clark over dessert about that one."

One of the Bay's newest MPs, Warren-Clark said she was keen to look into it and had been looking at what countries like France did with food waste.

"There is an amazing synergy between helping those who are hungry, and supporting our environment. I think it is an idea really worth exploring."

Warren-Clark used to head up Tauranga Women's Refuge which is one of the main beneficiaries of Good Neighbour.

"I've seen three years worth of difference in our community... We had women who looked in the pantry when they first came into the safe house and just weep because they didn't have to worry about buying food."

A team of manservants had to ship in extra crates of bubbles for the 300 thirsty and generous women who gathered in a bespoke marquee at Toi Ohomai.

The gourmet degustation menu was made entirely of rescued food, prepared and delivered by a team of 220 students under the guidance of head chef Peter Blakeway.

The menu included a spectacular dessert of chocolate dustbins filled with tiramisu, and a 'breakfast' soup.

MC Mary Lambie entertained the crowd who listened to three inspirational stories from New Zealander of the Year Leisa Renwick, alopecia ambassador Anna Reeve, and Black Fern Portia Woodman.

There was some frenzied bidding in the auction including $5,000 for a dinner party cooked by Blakeway, and $1,100 to be an intern for the morning with Will Johnston at the Hits.

Good said it was great to see caring women coming together, supporting Tauranga, and having fun.

"And they don't have to ask permission from their husbands to spend the money because the money is theirs, it is not their husbands - these women care about their community."

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