Oxfam Trailwalker latest news

The latest news from Oxfam Trailwalker.

Posted on 4 Apr 2018 - 4:44pm

Did you know that each checkpoint throughout the trail is hosted by volunteers from a range of community groups?

Checkpoints and Aid Stations are a vital aspect of the event. They are where walkers are able to meet their support crew and recuperate for the next big leg of the trail. Volunteers work long hours, some all through the night, providing participants with warm hospitality of hot drinks, shelter and kind words of encouragement. The event simply would not operate without them and their dedication. Here is a closer look at the 2018 community groups…


They are a friendly and passionate group of Whakatāne locals, who work tirelessly to support the wider community, which involves working closely with youth to realise their potential and protecting the environment, especially our native species! Check them out - http://rotary9930.org/page/clubs-whakatane-west !!


This incredible group takes on the difficult yet vital task of protecting our native bird – the Kiwi. Whakatane has the luxury of having Kiwi territory right in their own background, making the work of the Kiwi Trust highly important to ensure they are always protected. Follow their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/whakatanekiwi/ for updates on our beautiful kiwis.


The awesome Year 10 students of Trident High School took on Checkpoint 3 where they worked up until midnight on Saturday ensuring all participants were comfortable and ready for the long haul of the night walk. They are an impressive bunch of kids ready to help make a difference. They have been fundraising and are now off on an exciting learning opportunity to Great Barrier Island. https://www.trident.school.nz/


The friendly faces behind Aid Station 1 were the people of Rewatu Marae, they got participants ready for the part of the trail that is often regarded as the toughest. They are highly valued not only by the Oxfam Trailwalker team but also the walkers. Their passion for integrating their culture into the event adds an immensely special aspect to the event as whole.

TANEATUA LIONS – Checkpoint 4

The Taneatua Lions are a dedicated crew of individuals who are passionate about making a difference in their community, making them the perfect checkpoint hosts. They are often credited for their warm welcoming and always going above and beyond for the walkers. To read up on them and their work, follow the link here - http://members.lionsclubs.org.nz/Clubs/202L/Default-Zone/Taneatua


The team of volunteers at LandSAR (Land Search and Rescue) are a very talented and devoted group of individuals who help those injured and lost all over New Zealand. Their level of expertise is a massive addition to Trailwalker and the event would not run as smoothly without their contribution. To learn more about their work and how they got started, head to - https://www.landsar.org.nz/

EDGECUMBE LIONS – Checkpoint 5

The Checkpoint 5 hosts are the amazing Edgecumbe Lions, who work all through the night doing a great job keeping walkers warm and motivated to finish the trail. They have been operating in their community since 1964, driven by the opportunity to make a difference and better the lives of those around them. Find more information on the Edgecumbe Lions here - http://members.lionsclubs.org.nz/Clubs/202L/Default-Zone/Edgecumbe

Posted on 29 Mar 2018 - 4:23pm

As the sun began to rise on the morning of March 10th over Whakatāne, New Zealand’s sunshine capital, it marked the beginning of an incredible weekend filled with broken records.  

Team 'Taking it Easy', 50km winners.

The sunrise saw the spectacular Whakatāne landscape begin to appear, with the tall, guarded mountainside, the busy streets of town and the 54 kilometres of coastline glistening in the ready sun. The scene for the weekend was set, which would soon see hundreds of dedicated Oxfam Trailwalker participant’s tread through like an army, all with one goal in mind. 

A strong team of four who go by the name “Buff Wait There’s More”, and individually as Zebedee Stone, Billie Haresnape, Dylan Steeples and Chris Webb, charged through the trail at an incredibly fast pace. Opting to run the 100km was a challenge in itself, and finishing in record breaking 12 hours, and 51 minutes is an incredible achievement. They smashed the previous Whakatāne record by a whole two hours. Zeb, the team leader, says his “motivating factor” is the work of Oxfam, and that it is all “for something bigger.” 

Like the team name “Buff Wait There’s More”, there is indeed more! 50km team ‘Taking It Easy’ definitely did not take it easy, smashing the 50km record with an astonishing time of 7 hours and 51 minutes! Team members Mike Cochrane, Katie Edmead, Kate Mclennan and Gillian Kinsella say the record was an accident but made possible due to their support crew and the “friendly rivalry” with second place team “O.T.I.F” made up of Ben Wright, Scott Todd, Nigel Melhuish and Josh Rich, who were hot on their heels the entire race and, in fact, also beat the record with their equally incredible time of 8 hours.

Team 'Buff Wait There's More', 100km winners. Photo: Artur Francisco.

Overall, the entire weekend was a huge success for many teams, support crew, event staff, volunteers, and Oxfam. Incredible things were achieved throughout the weekend, whether it was pushing to get to the next kilometre, finishing the entire trail or reaching new fundraising totals. But amongst all the success, the true victory was everyone rallying together to challenge poverty, raising money and awareness for the world’s most vulnerable people.

It's not too late to donate to your favourite team! Find them here.

Posted on 29 Mar 2018 - 4:12pm

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the Awards Nights.

It was a pleasure to celebrate with you.

Awards Night photos are uploaded into albums on our Facebook page.

Posted on 20 Dec 2017 - 12:17pm

From left: Rebecca Dakin, Dianne Bulled, Liisa Jones and Andy Ross. Photo: Rebecca Dakin.

From fighting fires to responding to local emergencies, this group of Whakatāne volunteers have a new challenge ahead of them – walking 100 kilometres to help fight poverty.

All four team members met through volunteering for Whakatāne Rural Fire and New Zealand Emergency and Rescue Unit 17.

“We have Liisa who is our district-wide SPCA inspector, and got heavily involved in the Edgecumbe floods. We’ve got Dianne – who is involved in things like Whakatāne Athletics and Harriers Club and organising the Toi’s Challenge. Dianne is our team leader and an experienced adventure-racing lady!

“Then we’ve got Andy - he is just fantastic. He started as a mountain guide, then got into adventure sports like kayaking, and is looking forward to the different challenge that this event involves.

"Then you’ve got me - I am a Whakatāne District Council worker and I volunteer for the SPCA,” says team member Rebecca Dakin.

The team love giving back to their local community through volunteering their time and skills, and it was this that got them hooked on Oxfam Trailwalker.

“Most of us come from community-focused involvement. It’s our community, and it’s our home, and we want to help. You feel like you’re making a difference if you can get out there and do something to help someone.

“I’ve done quite a few half marathons now but am just looking for something to keep me going and a little bit of a challenge. I volunteered last year at [Oxfam Trailwalker] and I saw the teams and thought ‘wow, that’s something I really want to do.’

“Oxfam is a good cause… anything for charity is something that generally we’ll get involved in.”

On paper, the length of the trail can seem like a very long way - but Rebecca is looking forward to challenging herself to something new.

“To me, personally it’s a bit daunting, but I think to be part of such a neat team with just such nice people, I really want to get over the end for them.

“The mental idea of completing 100 kilometres in one go and keeping the stamina to drive ourselves across the finish line is the focus. And the highlight will be just getting over the finish! I’m quite excited about walking through the night as well, just because it’s something I’ve never done.”

As a Whakatāne District Council employee, Rebecca knows what Oxfam Trailwalker gives to the community – and what the community gives back to Oxfam Trailwalker.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic. Any event like this is brilliant to give our community some exposure and just to show exactly what a slice of paradise it is here.

“I really do think that it’s something that is embraced and that the community is looking forward to.”

The team have started training, and living in Whakatāne, they are lucky enough to be able to train on the event’s trails. They’re also tracking along well with their fundraising thanks to some very generous local businesses.

“We all work at really cool places that have already said that they’ll sponsor us, so we’re pretty lucky in that regard.

“We want to say a massive thank you to the team at Whakatāne Outdoors, Whakatāne SPCA, and our Rural Fire and Emergency Response Units. They’ve just been great so far - it’s really nice.”

A massive thank you to team RescueUs for their enthusiasm and support of Oxfam Trailwalker! Visit their team page or make a donation here.

Posted on 15 Dec 2017 - 9:23am

Pictured, from left: Lucy Liu, June Cui, Jennifer Ma, Sophie Chen.

It was the Great Lake Relay in Taupō that brought the four members of team ‘Welly Queen’ together. They all met there in February, connected over their love of running trails, and decided to challenge themselves as a team to the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker.

The team is made up of four ladies – Sophie, Lucy, Jennifer and June - who are originally from China but who now reside in Wellington, which they call “the coolest little capital in the world.”

Sophie Chen, team leader and sales engineer, is trail-running obsessed. She challenged herself to an endurance race in Italy this September - Tor des Geants - and completed 148 kilometres and 9500 metres of elevation gain in 55 hours.

“I am a big fan of ultra-trail running. I want to help children living in poverty to have access to clean water.”

Lucy Liu, a chartered accountant, has been running regularly since 2015, this year completing the 80 kilometre Round the Mountain race in Taranaki in 11 and-a-half hours.

“Running is contagious. So is sharing! It dawned on me that regardless how little we share, we are elevating vulnerable people’s living conditions.”

Jennifer Ma, a postgrad student who first came to New Zealand in October last year, completed her first half marathon in Queenstown last year, and her first full one in Auckland this year.

“Running is who I am, what I am, why I am. I believe giving is the greatest act of grace.”

June Cui, an IT consultant, got into trail running early this year, completing a half marathon in Wellington in June.

“I know I’ll never be able to help all the people living in poverty, but by running, at least I can help some.”

Challenging themselves physically and contributing to the fight against poverty are things that the team have always wanted to do.

“We feel very fortunate to live in New Zealand, a country with stable economy and fabulous environment. We are also aware that there are still many people around the world living below the poverty line without access to clean water, basic healthcare and education.”

The girls have identified two big focuses for their team, the first being ensuring that they’re prepared for such a long distance. With a target time of 24 hours, they have been training together since November to make sure they’re physically ready to hit the trail for a full day and night.

Their second big focus is working together as a team to complete the challenge. Each team member has different levels of experience and fitness, so they are prepared to look out for and make allowances for each other in order to cross the finish line together.

The team has a big fundraising target and are determined to smash it, so they can provide as much support to people in the Pacific as possible.

“We have set the target at $5,000. None of us have any local fundraising experience in New Zealand, but we believe that our passion, planning and execution will surely help us beat the target.”

Welly Queen is hosting a CrossFit fundraiser class in Alicetown on 13 January 2018. To attend, RSVP to wellyqueen5@gmail.com. More details here.

A big thank you to Welly Queen for their enthusiasm and dedication to Oxfam Trailwalker!

If you wish to make a donation to the team you can do so here.

Follow the team’s progress via their Facebook page here.

Posted on 28 Mar 2017 - 10:28am

Congratulations to all you magnificent Oxfam Trailwalkers on your amazing efforts at the weekend. We hope your feet and legs are recovering. Both the 100km (Buff wait there's more) and 50km (Taking it 'easy') records in Whakatane were smashed - amazing work to these two teams and to everyone who undertook this epic journey.

Here are the official timing results for OTW18. 

Posted on 27 Mar 2017 - 8:15pm

We are super excited to announce that our pals at Photos4Sale have posted up pics from OTW2017. Just head to their website Photos4Sale.co.nz search for your bib number and pay what you feel is a good amount for a high-res pic of you and your crew in action. Thank you to Allan and the team for capturing these spectacular moments. Kiwis supporting Kiwis. Ka Pai !

This photo is the final one photos4sale took. Our traditional event staff "its a wrap" photo, we are pictured with the final team, Kahui Tane.

Posted on 12 Mar 2017 - 2:37pm

The Oxfam Trailwalker mobile app will be available to download closer to the event date:

Google Play Store - Android - http://bit.ly/2m5tR9a

Apple App Store - iOS - http://apple.co/2nbE5Xz


The app features

  • Supporters can donate via the app
  • A feed of all the latest news over event weekend
  • View course maps (even if no wifi is available) 
  • View checkpoint info
  • We can send push notifications if there are urgent changes or in the event of an emergency

We’ve tried to keep the app as easy-to-follow as possible so download it and check it out. Teams - encourage your friends and family to do the same.


Posted on 28 Feb 2017 - 2:22pm

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the OTW17 Awards Nights. It was our pleasure to host you!

For complete Awards results please visit the Awards page.

Posted on 13 Feb 2017 - 12:07pm

Entries are now closed. Start times will be announced in March.

To receive this bonus option and pick your start time – 6am or 7am.Just email us to upgrade your fundraising target by $500* at info@oxfamtrailwalker.org.nz with your team name, new fundraising target and your preferred start time.

Note this bonus offer is only available to the first 100 teams, so get in quick!

If you've already indicated a fundraising commitment of $5000 or more, your team is automatically eligible to choose a preferred start time.


Your questions answered

Key dates

  • Oxfam Trailwalker 2019: 23-24 March
  • Whakatāne Awards tbc
  • Auckland Awards tbc
  • Wellington Awards tbc 

*dates subject to change