NZ Hike For Life-Te Araroa

By Jono Hartland

Hiking the Length of NZ along the Te Araroa Trail for Mental Health and Suicide Awareness

~Please see bottom of page for website links~

I'm doing this because a little under 2 years ago in August of 2017, I lost one of my very closest mates to Suicide. The most witty, intelligent and caring mate one could ever hope for. I recall the emotion of that moment as I stood alongside two of my friends, who were also there at the time. Amidst the confusion, disbelief and shock was an instant and overwhelming sense of painful regret. Regret that I hadn’t clued myself in on the symptoms of mental illness and the urgency to act. Although there were a few obvious signs of discontent in the months prior, I was mostly naïve and ultimately overlooked the potential severity of such (in hindsight) anxious and depressive symptoms. Please give time to educate yourself on the signs of mental destress. Be alert to symptoms such as social withdrawal, irritability, demotivation and a lack of interest in day to day activities (some signs I saw in Eddie), among many others, which you can and should view in more detail here: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-symptoms-and-warning-signs.htm

Learning of my sister experiencing the same tragedy with respect to one of her friends just a few months later further emphasised to me how much of a glaringly obvious and pressing issue the state of mental health is amongst young kiwis. The prevalence of mental illness in young kiwis is disturbingly high. Too many people are battling their demons alone. A huge reason for this is an apprehension to reach out due to the stigma attached to having a mental illness. I saw it in Eddie, and I continue to see it in others all the time. I want to contribute to breaking down the stigma barrier and do my bit to normalise open and honest conversations about what’s ruminating in one’s mind. Experiencing mental illness at some point in our young lives is so common. We must support each other, be empathetic, understand that it is okay to feel this way. Whether it’s a matter of weeks, months or years, things eventually get back on track with time and it's so crucial that we do not allow each other to get trapped in the dangerous bubble of isolation while one is at their low point. Have an honest conversation. Listen. Don’t allow someone suffering to push you away and further isolate themselves. Talk with their friends or family about it. Ensure that they are receiving appropriate help. Your alertness and compassion might just pull someone through their darkest time.

In honour of Eddie, Issy and all those that have and currently are struggling with mental illness, as of the end of November 2019 I will be hiking the Te Araroa trail, a 3000km NZ thru-hike which starts at Cape Reinga and extends the length of the country to finish up at Bluff. It will take approximately 5 months to complete and I will be campaigning for the Mental Health Foundation and the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust along the way. I’m a huge believer in the positive effect the outdoors has on one’s mind and I intend on spreading this message as far as possible through embarking on this journey. 

My ultimate goal is to maximise the awareness of mental illness prevalence amongst young Kiwis, while stamping out the stigma associated with it. In conjunction, I’d love to raise as much money as possible with all donations going to either the Mental Health Foundation or the Life Matters- Suicide Prevention Trust to sustain and improve their work in this area. Donations enable the foundations to provide free information to boost awareness, implement mental health programmes, and improve effective suicide prevention. It’s going to be a team effort to turn this thing around but I believe that we can and we will.

Please contribute to my fundraiser! Every single donation is so highly appreciated! 

Every little bit counts :)

- For those wishing to also donate to the Life Matters- Suicide Prevention Trust please follow this link: https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/nz-hike-for-life-te-araroa

- As I am obviously foregoing having a job while I am on the trail, I've established a separate fund to raise a few bucks here and there for personal expenses such as food and campground costs. These donations will make it possible to acheive the adventure..any small donation will be very gratefully received :) Please follow this link for my personal fundraiser: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/jonos-survival-fund-for-hiking-the-ta

- Keep up with the journey here: https://www.instagram.com/NZ_hike_for_life_te_araroa/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to my Supporters

$52

Virginia Warren

What a brave and courageous walk, Kia Kaha.

$26

Julia Bullen

What a great cause to do this for. Good luck for the walk Jono!

$26

Rose Anderson

$52

Shona Mcdowell

$52

Anonymous

$50

Childs Family

Wonderful effort Jono. Good wishes from David Childs and family.

$52

Debbie Wilson

all the best for your journey and all those who will benefit from your commitment

$26

Teresa Booth

$25

Cooper

$104

Leeanne Fisher

Hey Jono. I hope this is an amazing experience for you and I'm sure you'll smash your goals. I just hate (professionally as a psychiatrist) and personally that you would even have to think about doing such a thing. Here's to less heartbreak ultimately.

$52

Anna Greenwood

Jono..all the very best..what an adventure!! Im a frend of your Mums from work!

$208

Jacque Lethbridge

Dear Jonathan- this is an amazing cause and I am blown away by your resolve and perseverance in undertaking the hike. 100% thinking about you as you clock through those kms! Keep it up and well done

$108.16

Brian & Ryan Arps

Inspiring.

$310

Maya Wilde

Good on you Jono, doing Eddie proud x

$52

Sarah Hartshorn

Go Jono! What a wonderful thing to do, very proud of you!

$26

Paula Turnbull

Good on you Jono, stay safe x

$310

Anonymous

All the very best on your quest Jono, you have already inspired a few of us to "do something" and hope we can do the right things every day as you mentioned in your story with our own friends and workmates.

$31.20

Pem Hickman

Good luck Jono with you hike. Great cause from Pem Hickman (Steve’s mom)

$26

Boomer Family

Keep going Boomer family

$78

Fiona Cooper

An important cause, go well Jono.

$52

Anonymous

All the best Jono

$31.20

Alison Lilley

Good luck Jono from the UK for this great cause. Alison and Mat (Steve's sister) xx

$5

Vera Goesmann

$26

Robyn Bougen

Go well Jono

$300

Kathy Meads

$310

Shelley & Royce Hartland // The Hartland Family

All the very best from all of the Renwick team Jono. You're in for a great experience for such a valuable cause and like all your supporters we know that if you need any extra motivation along the way, that'll be the ever-present powerful driving force for you. Go well mate, love and all strength to you from us all, and we look forward to seeing you in the top of the South Island!

$104

Rachel Holland

Good luck. I hear it is an incredible experience. I've given my address to your dad in case you need a hot shower and a beer when passing through Clevedon/Hunua.

$52

Nalini Patel

Great cause, Jono. Good on you for doing something to help your peers.

$100

Liz Sewell

Inspiring message and such a worthwhile cause, well done ! Good luck on your adventures

$52

Murray Smith

Great endeavour , enjoy the Trail

$104

Mw Family

$52

Karen Eason

Woo hoo this tips you over the $10 000 - well done Jono

$104

Jono Pooch

Awesome challenge for a great cause. Good luck!

$41.60

Fiona Mclean

Walk well!

$52

Kathryn

Best Wishes Jono

$104

Allan Mcrae

Great cause. All the best for the walk.

$510

Sharon Winters

Hello Jono, you don’t know me but I know your parents and your Mum and I were at Med School together - she told me a little bit about your plans when we caught up at the reunion and I would like to wish you all the best for your hike - I’m sure you will far surpass your fund raising aim by the end. Kind Regards, Sharon

$52

Iain Ward

What an inspiring project! Thank you for drawing our attention to the hidden pain.

$52

Peter Mcilroy

All the best for your journey

$52

Robyn Blake And Stephen Robertson

Good effort, I'm sure you will have some tough times out there too.

$52

Libby Nicholls

Proud of you Jono.What a way to remember Eddie! X

$52

Jodie O’sullivan

Good on you Jono

$25

Sam Macgill

$10.40

Lauren O’brien

💜

$31.20

Scott Family

Such a wonderful thing you are doing Jono :)

$10.40

Libby Hadlow

Good luck!!

$26

Anonymous

Good Luck Jono!

$52

Kerri Dewe

Wishing the blisters to be few and far between!

$25

Michael Mccarthy

Go Jono!

$52

Cindy Wu

$410

The Team At Lowndes

Well done Jono. A great mission for an important cause. Hopefully soon people will reach out for help with mental illness as readily as they do for physical ailments.

$52

Sarah Kerr

All the very best for your epic journey Jono - it’s a very worthy cause. Wonderful that we have people like you raising awareness of such an important issue. Go well, Sarah

$10.40

Liam

Legend mate, loved the updates through the years. great cause awesome goal!

$10.40

Mackenzie Adams

$10.40

Anonymous

$10

Jacob Johnston

Dude, you rock. Cheers for all the weather banter over the years

$20.80

Cameron Mcauslan

$5.20

Julia Conway

$26

Sarah Price

$25

Graeme T

A positive step to highlight a real issue in our society Good luck

$52

Rob Woodgate

Good luck with the adventure

$10.40

Tim Burnside

$10.40

Jack H

$156

Sam & Sarah Jack

Fantastic work Jono. Mental health is such a major issue in this country and I really believe that we can improve things and make a difference if we talk about it, support eachother and support (and fund) all the organisations that do great work in this area.

$52

David F

$104

The Craig Family

HI Jono We are Jono Craig's family and congratulate you on your efforts. All the very best with this wonderful fundraiser. Leonie Craig

$26

Haley Salle

Eddie was such a big part of my time in NZ and I am so glad you are doing this 💚 good luck on your journey!

$26

Susan White

$10.40

Anonymous

This is so incredibly inspiring ❤️ Wishing you be best of luck!

$10.40

Eman Syed

$10.40

Matt Stephens

💚

$10.40

Clare Johnson

$10.40

Madde Ogier

$52

Andy Skinner

Fuck yeah dude!! So proud to be your mate! Keep up the great work xo

$26

Frances Gibson

Hey bud! Missing you and all your shenanigans! I am so proud of what your doing and all that you have accomplished. You are an inspiration.

$10.40

Lisa Franchina

What an amazing young man. Stay safe and all the best

$104

Lindsey White

We both know how The Dog was such a silly, genuinely kind and loving person that didn’t deserve to be in the pain that he was. I don’t think I’ve seen a closer duo than the two of you, and I am so grateful for all of our weird, crazy, incredible moments we all had. Having a mental illness is so hard but it’s important to talk about it, however hard that is, so people can feel safe asking for help. This is so important Jono and I’m so proud of you for doing this

$80

Jules + Gregg Holden & Family

Jono we are so very proud of you ❤️ Aunty Jules, Uncle Gregg, Dylan, Mitch, Lys and Sienna xx

$10.40

Christina Hadjichristou

Yeeeeeah boi!

$510

Wolf 0

Awwoooo

$10

Maddy Whittaker

Jono you legend - such an awesome cause. You are going to have such an incredible journey! All the best :)

$104

Wolf 21

Good on you buddy, great cause. I will be with you in spirit and may say hi hopefully !

$10.40

Rachael

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

$10

Titmister General

$26

Anonymous

$104

Lawa

$$$ for walking your talk.

$52

Kira Lee

Happy you're making this a reality :)

$30

Sophie Zych-watson

Proud of you xoxoxo

$208

Andy, Jane, Gus, Elsie & Millie- Matthews Law

Beautiful and important words Jono. Our thoughts are with Issy's & Eddie's loved ones and all affected. This is such an important cause.

$260

John And Adele

Great work we are with you

$15.60

Phoebe Mackay

Such an important cause <3

$208

Tania And Russ

Good luck from G Ma and Russ

$20.80

Anonymous

Such an important issue! Amazing work xx

$104

Georgina Scott-lindfield

Forever proud of you x

$5.20

Maddie Megery

Can't wait for you to Supertramp it for while :)

$10.40

Cyril Carponcin

$26

Melanie Duggan

$52

Ricky Rubio

$10.40

Bear Grylls

Respect my man. Kia Kaha x

$10.40

Patrick Mckernan

$104

Jeffrey Clarke & Victoria Hallum

Wonderful idea Jono. I’m sure it’ll be a memorable experience.

$208

Nic And Blair Hartland

Fantastic Jono, such a great thing to do. We’d love to join you for a bit of the southern end if we can make it work xx

$31.20

Abbey Gracey

from me, Steve, Bob & DFJ, we love you!

$100

Val Pollard

Go Jono!!! 😍

$25

Hippy Dog

I’m broke but more than worth it! So proud uncle Jon xx

$26

Anna Loeger

$10.40

Izzy Gray

<3 u buddy

$25

Lucy Maguire

$52

Sophie Mishara

$26

Miller- Webster Family

Go Jono!

$10.40

Kate Hayes

This is such an important cause. The way you have chosen to bring awareness to the issue is really impactful. Good luck on your journey Jono, thank you for doing this :)

$10.40

Anonymous

$100

Lochiel Mckellar

$25

Trudi Hall

$208

Duncraft Family

Thank you Jono.

$50

Claire Giannaula

Proud to call you one of my good friends ❤️

$10.40

Anonymous

$510

Jenny And Ed Simpson

Thanks for doing this for Eddie and all the others who have struggled with mental health issues

$25

Zeena Hartland

Great cause bro

$26

Jacqueline Hawks

🙏

$26

Jackie Liggins

Walk well Jono

$104

Katie Anson

You have a big heart Jono <3

$3.12

Anonymous

Good luck on the walk, such a cool thing you’re doing!!

$1.01k

Issy’s Family

Thanks Jono. Love Issy’s family xx

$26

Cilla Blackwell

$104

Andrea Baker

Thank you

$26

Malou Ludo Oliver Vermeer

Jono, awesome! I haven’t met you yet, but heard great stories! And this adventure for a good cause shows your parents can be proud of you for good reason :)) With light life and love we live

$208

Leaanne & Andrew Vincent

WOW Jono. Great cause and amazing adventure. We will follow you on your journey.

$26

Anonymous

$26

Warwick Palmer

$78

Mick Lister

💙💙💙

$104

Anonymous

$26

Kathryn Moore

$510

Julie & Paul Hartland

This is an awesome cause Jono! Hopefully there will be a friend or two ( or your family!) who join you on the odd leg along the way....

$52

George Bulleid

$104

Brian And Jose Small

Good luck, hope the weather is nice!

$10.40

Sophie

Love your work Jono. Super proud of you!

$610

Jd And Paul

$10.40

Finn Macewan

Go Jono!!

$10.40

Tom Nordmeier

$180

Conrad Fleischmann

Hey mate, super proud of you and all of the work you have and continue to put into mental health awareness!

$52

Andrew Burke

$52

Jo & Max

Best of luck Jono, sending our love and support ❤️

$52

Maddi Ingham

Such an awesome thing you're doing Jono!!! Super proud to know you

$100

Hannah Got

$20.80

Kieran Metherell

For Eddie and for everyone else out there going through tough times. You're a legend mate, good luck with the walk!