A fashion show held at a private country home in Pahoia last night raised more than $18,000 for the CatWalk Trust, which helps fund research into spinal cord injury.

The CatWalk and Diamonds Fashion Show, was presented by high-end Mount Maunganui clothing store Sisters and Co.

Double Commonwealth Games cycling champion Sarah Ulmer was MC for the event attended by 120 of Tauranga's glitterati, who had the chance to win a diamond.

Ms Ulmer said she was invited to MC "out of the blue" after a shopping trip to Sisters and Co two months ago.


"I'm was very nervous as I had never been an MC before ... but I think it is great thing they are doing for CatWalk," she said.

Bay mother-of-three Kristy Hunter organised and hosted the event. She has a personal connection as she is friends with the sister-in-law of CatWalk founder Catriona Williams. Ms Hunter is also running the New York City Marathon to raise money for the Trust.

"There is a lot of heart in the Tauranga community and that was demonstrated last night. Thank you to everyone who made the night possible and who dug deep to support this worthy cause," she said.

Guests were greeted with a glass of bubbly at the bottom of which was either a cubic zirconia or a diamond, donated by Bethlehem Jewellers.

Sisters and Co owner Rodelle Payne also arranged for leading New Zealand fashion designer Juliette Hogan to make a special guest appearance.

The evening was a huge success, she added.

Catriona Williams, an accomplished equestrian, was left a tetraplegic after a horse-riding accident in 2002. CatWalk patrons include Zara Phillips, Sir Mark Todd and Richie McCaw among others.