Twelve stepping out to promote cathartic walk

By Alice Lock

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WALK OF LIFE: Pat Magill (wearing yellow in centre) and friends walk the banks of Pandora Pond ahead of tomorrow's trail walk. PHOTO DUNCAN BROWN
WALK OF LIFE: Pat Magill (wearing yellow in centre) and friends walk the banks of Pandora Pond ahead of tomorrow's trail walk. PHOTO DUNCAN BROWN

The launch of the Hawke's Bay trail walk by the Te Araroa Offers Hope Trust is taking place tomorrow.

Led by Veteran social justice campaigner Pat Magill, a group of 12 will walk between Arapuni and Waipatiki to address mental instability, boredom and loneliness.

The trust was established as they wanted to build a new style of reform for troubled youth that did not result in them being locked behind bars.

"People just need to realise that mother nature is much more healing than being stuck inside a cage," Mr Magill said.

He had already started taking youth on life-changing treks around New Zealand on the Te Araroa trail, from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

Mr Magill said the main objective was to promote and enable disenfranchised youth to participate in walks, while encouraging communication with peers and leaders.

"This would foster mental and physical wellness and allow people to come together with themselves".

He said that walking was a natural form of healing that meant they could keep in touch with nature and the community.

"We have done walks before where leaders such as the police were involved and we watched them inspire the youth".

He said the bigger the problem then the bigger the walk.

A group who were from Maraenui went up to Cape Reinga and did a five-day walk and he said they came back stronger than ever.

"One of them was very troubled and once they finished the walk they felt they were strong enough to prevent what had happened previously and were a better person for it".

Jim Morunga, who has done work on suicide prevention, would also be there on Sunday offering inspiring advice.

"He will again walk his talk before he takes his trip away in a few weeks".

The walk on Sunday will involve a barbecue at Waipatiki alongside some future planning with their next walk planned to take place at the end of this month.

"We are planning to explore our own trail from Lake Tutira to the Pukemokimoki Marae, once the slips have been cleared".

He said the Te Araroa Offers Hope Trust had been given charitable status to support the healing therapy, from walking long trails.

There were now six trustees involved and they were looking to receive more funding so the trail walks could continue well into the future.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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