Teenager Trent Reyburn is used to throwing himself into a good cause but it's not usually on the pavement in Whangarei's city centre on a busy Saturday lunchtime.

Trent, who turns 14 next week, organised a midday flashmob to carry out an choreographed routine on Saturday to raise awareness about the 40 Hour Famine coming up on May 25-27.

At the clash of a gong the flashmobbers, who until then had seemed to be just part of the midday crowd, stood unmoving for at least a minute then collapsed on the ground, before repeating the dramatic sequence, and then drifting off into the crowd again.

None of the mainly young Whangarei people who performed the highly visual and symbolic message, nor the large crowd of surprised lunchtime shoppers, were starving, but Trent said that is all the more reason for healthy New Zealanders to support campaigns like the 40 Hour Famine.


This year children in Mali and Niger will benefit from funds raised by New Zealanders who sponsor or take part in Famine events.

It's a cause Trent has supported for years, his family having being longtime sponsors of children through World Vision.

Trent's consciousness-raising events sparked interest last year when he decided to give up his cellphone for 12 months as a pivot for ongoing fundraising and also to experience what, albeit in privileged terms, was a sacrifice.

He had to rely on Facebook to put out his flashmob call.