Pat Magill has spent a lifetime advocating for change.

So, it was only fitting for him to ring in his 93rd birthday by doing just that.

The catchcry of this year's Walk for Unity event was "towards a kinder and fairer city", which Magill says is relevant in more ways than one.

Close to 100 people, from all walks of life, gathered for the hikoi from the Spirit of Napier fountain on the seafront to the area around the Clive Rowing Club.


A feature of the walk was a stop at Waitangi Reserve, where environmental protectionist, and Hawke's Bay Regional Council candidate, Hinewai Ormsby took the opportunity to acknowledge the environmental challenges ahead for communities, and urged people to "think globally but act locally".

"This means minimising the carbon we produce coupled with planting far more trees, much like my husband and I do with our community.

"My main message to the diverse range of our Hikoi for Unity friends and whānau is that our collective mission must be to leave this planet in a better state than when we came into it," she said.

Former New Plymouth mayor, and social activist Andrew Judd, also spoke.

The self-acclaimed "recovering racist" drew criticism for his calls for Maori to have half-representation on councils but has maintained a stance concerned about addressing the wrongs of New Zealand's colonial past.

Judd said the hikoi was about "coming together as a community and a larger whanau to talk about peace and inclusion".

"I felt very welcome in Napier. There were children right through to, well Pat himself, at 93, it just shows that age isn't a barrier to love and inclusion."

He said we are "maturing slowly as a nation".


"It gives you hope for the future, absolutely."