Retired Napier businessman and indefatigable social justice campaigner Pat Magill is spearheading a "hikoi with a difference" to raise awareness of a 3000km walking trail.
The 87-year-old is the driving force behind a sponsored walk in Northland that will cover the northern-most section of Te Araroa. He has convinced daughter-in-law Jo Magill, granddaughter Jerri and friend Michelle Ratima to make the five-day, 102km trek from Cape Reinga to Ahipara.
Mr Magill, a stalwart of Napier's Pilot City Trust which campaigns on a variety of issues aimed at reducing social conflict, including alternatives to imprisonment, will take part in the last few days of the walk, which begins on January 13.
He said the purpose of the walk was to send a message to government and service providers about the opportunity that Te Araroa has to assist youth.
"By giving support at the top of the cliff, rather than mopping up human carnage at the bottom".
"We're looking forward to the challenge of the walk, and also the opportunity to camp, network on route, meet new people and listen and learn with each other." The group was inviting donations to cover the cost of the walk and ongoing support and future hikoi along the trail.
"Eventually, Michelle, Jo and Jerri plan to walk the entire Te Araroa within the next few years and we're hoping the initiative will gain momentum, with others joining in along the way."