National | Charity

Charity kaupapa to provide for northernmost Kura Māori

New Zealand's premier charity rally, now in its 27th year, will return to Te Tai Tokerau this month.

The Trillian Trek (formerly known as the Variety Bash) will comprise 135 people in 34 themed cars and buses making their way from Matamata to Northland all in the name of charity.

Starting with a street party in Matamata on Sunday March 19, trucks and fire engines will head up the west coast of the North Island to Cape Reinga then back down the east coast finishing a week later in Whangarei.

Along the way, the convoy of fundraisers will be visiting some of the country's northernmost kura Māori, handing out grants, giveaways, sports gear and special needs equipment.

Organiser Murray O'Donnell says the Northlanders always roll out the red carpet and visiting schools who often get passed over by other events is a hit with both the trekkers and students.

“The last time we were here was in 2011 … we love this part of the country, we get some pretty amazing welcomes, some great food and sometimes it can be difficult to get our lot to leave … they want to stay and hang out with the kids!”

He says one of the core principles of the event has always been that money raised in the community goes back to the community.

“I think this is what has made the event such a popular one over the years. And with our new partner charity NZ Blue Light we have access to some fantastic people who live and work in these communities 24-7 … they will be helping us ensure we are getting these grants to those who are most deserving.”

The Trek will start in Matamata this Sunday March 19