Social media star walking 280km to raise money for cyclone relief

Mon, Mar 13

A 27-year-old man is walking 280km to raise money and awareness for areas of the East Coast affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Speaking to Breakfast this morning, Te Aorere Pēwhairangi, who has nearly 180k social media followers, said he's walking from Gisborne to Hicks Bay — starting today.

He is planning to walk for 10 days along State Highway 35, which has been badly damaged by the cyclone.

"I wanted to show support, but I actually don't have many practical skills — I can't drive a digger, I can't tarseal a road, I can't rebuild a bridge, but what I can do and what I do have is a couple hundred thousand followers online.

"So I thought I'd leverage that platform to raise awareness of what's happening and support my whānau here on the coast."

Pēwhairangi has set up a Givealittle page, where nearly $12,000 had been raised as of publication.

He said despite it being a month since Te Tairāwhiti was hit by the cyclone, the impacts have been devastating and relief efforts continue.

"On his journey, he will talk to whānau at the front line of the recovery, local MPs, athletes and television personalities to raise awareness around the impact the cyclone has had on East Coast communities and Highway 35," the Givealittle page reads.


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