A 23-year-old New Zealander is walking the length of the country to support women and children in Papua New Guinea.

Finn Egan, who has family ties to Whanganui, is doing the Te Araroa Trail to help fund a women's refuge in Kokopo. His journey, '2000 Miles for PNG Women', started on August 19 and he hopes to finish by Christmas, averaging about 30km per day.

"I volunteered in PNG for 18 months with Volunteer Service Abroad and after I came back to New Zealand I had about six months before I start my post-graduate studies," Egan said.

"I had been tossing up doing the Te Araroa Trail so I thought 'right, let's just do it'. One of the other volunteers in PNG was raising money for the women's refuge and I thought the walk was a good platform to raise awareness and find connections in New Zealand who could help them out in the long term.


"Violence, particularly against women and children, is prevalent in PNG. About 70 per cent of women will experience some form of violence in their lifetime. I could see some parallels with New Zealand but in PNG the violence is often in public, not hidden as it often is in New Zealand."

While he's walking, Egan does a lot of thinking - that's when he's not being stopped by motorists who want to know what he's doing.

"I'm planning to do my master's in development studies so I think about thesis ideas. I'm often thinking about connections and how I can share my connections to the benefit of the refuge. But sometimes I'm not thinking about anything; I'm just concentrating on the walk and am in the zone.

"I'm surprised how many people stop on the road and ask me what's going on and see if I want a ride. I often get offers of places to stay. It's awesome support."

Plans have been developed to establish the Kokopo women's refuge but funds are needed so construction can begin.

The money Egan raises will go toward the initial setup of the refuge, including construction and furnishing of the facilities, as well as care packages for women and children. He is funding his own journey so all money raised will go to the refuge project.

Egan is posting Facebook updates about his 3200km journey at '2000 Miles for PNG Women'. Donations can be made via his Givealittle page at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/2000milesforpngwomen and his progress can be tracked via his GPS at http://pngwomen.trackme.kiwi