The jubilation of students from Kimi Ora Community School said it all after it was announced the kura had won its bid to host a flying Richie McCaw.

Under the guise of pōwhiri practice, all year 1 to 8 students at Kimi Ora Community School were lured into the hall yesterday afternoon, where they were greeted with a video from the man himself.

Kimi Ora is among three schools the Fonterra Milk for Schools programme has chosen as the competition winners, including Eltham Primary School, Taranaki and Okaihau Primary School, Northland, with one more yet to be announced.

Read more: Kimi Ora schoolboy Blaze Petuha deals with fame from Richie McCaw video
Hawke's Bay Today editorial: Open letter to Richie McCaw
Richie McCaw heeds Hawke's Bay schoolboy's call


Any school could be nominated for Richie's Milk Run - to mark five years of the Fonterra Milk for Schools programme which has seen Fonterra and its Farmers give more than 96 million milk packs to schools around the country since 2013.

The judging panel was given the unenviable task of choosing the winners from 25,000 entries which flooded in from around the country.

Kimi Ora - Richie's Milk Run

Here's our video for the Richie McCaw Milk Run Competition. Please share this post whanau, Lets make it go viral so it gets to Richie and Fonterra. #Richiesmilkrun

Posted by Kimi Ora Community School on Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The kura produced a stellar viral video, fronted by 11-year old Blaze Waerea, which was enough to earn them a visit via helicopter from the All Black superstar.

The video begins with Blaze saying "oh kia ora, didn't see you there. If I knew you were filming today I would've brung my flash shoes".

The year 7 student said he didn't expect to land a visit from his hero.

"Our school is in Flaxmere and not many famous people come here. I can't wait to see him".

Although he doesn't know what he is going to say to the former All Blacks skipper, he does want to play rugby and "side step him".

As for his "flash shoes", he said he needed to find some.


Principal Matt O'Dowda found out last Monday but was instructed to keep the news to himself, apart from telling Head of performing arts Peter Tihema aka 'Mr T' on Tuesday.

"No one knew until today. It has been really hard because we've had lots of people calling up and saying surely we've won," Mr O'Dowda said.

As for the movie star himself, Blaze was told shortly before the assembly - flying out of his chair in disbelief.

Mr Tihema, the man behind the camera, reacted exactly the same when he was given Mr O'Dowda's laptop to read the email last week.

"I'm so proud of Blaze and the school. It's been hard to keep it a secret for so long that's for sure."

"It's going to be such a great thing for our school and our kids are going to be so stoked to have Richie here. We are kind of off the map here at Kimi Ora, so it is awesome that something so great can happen and for Flaxmere as well, with all of the nasty stuff that has been going around it is nice to have this," he said.

He believed Blaze would be a bit "star struck".


"They've been looking up to him and we have been learning about him in our assemblies, talking about this person that they probably don't know but have learnt lots about. Having someone famous in this end of Flaxmere is going to be pretty awesome."

Since being published on the Kimi Ora Facebook page on March 8, and on YouTube, the video has been watched more than 160,000 times and received well over 3600 shares and likes.

The night it was uploaded to Facebook, 30,000 people had already watched the clip and Mr Tihema says he has had people as far as America contact him.

Among the cute lines in the video is Blaze's comment: "Richie, if you come to our school you can have one of our $1 lunches, but remember you have to pay though, and if you come on burger day it's $2."

Set to a soundtrack of Poi E, the video shows Blaze walking around his school, giving hilarious reasons why the former All Blacks captain should make a trip to Hastings.

The video ends with the boy pretending to be an air traffic controller guiding McCaw's helicopter in to land on the school field.

It is just the beginning for Blaze, who hopes to continue to be in front of the camera.