Sunday, 9 March 2014

Te Harinui: Dunedin

Lent has arrived. This week has arrived. Te Harinui, my pilgrimage from one end of the diocese to the other has almost arrived. When I first thought of doing this I imagined going to Bluff with a little pack and walking Northward, no great drama, not a lot in the way of preparation required. I hadn't factored in how much the walk would grab people's imaginations, and, with many wishing to participate, how much organisation would be involved.

Benjamin Brock Smith has been working pretty much full time on the Hikoi since the end of last year. He and I have driven the route, sorted it into do-able stages, made notes on all of them and publicised it to the diocese. We have invited invitations of interest and/or registration for differing parts of it. The original walk has developed to include sections by bicycle, train, aeroplane and boat. When I was in Wanaka recently a helicopter pilot generously offered to take me from Queenstown, over the Crown Range to Wanaka, a step that would save us the problem of negotiating the dangerous Kawerau Gorge. We have found bikes and bike racks, a camper van, all the necessary paraphernalia such as spare tubes and walking socks and wet weather gear.

The basic walking party will be myself, John Franklin my chaplain and Phil Clark of the Church Army, and Wynston Cooper is driving the main support vehicle. The Most Rev'd Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York will be joining us briefly. Interest is rising in participating in one way or another. In Te Anau today several people told me of their intent of walking with us out of Lumsden, and registrations for the Taieri Gorge Railway and Rail Trail are starting to trickle in. The special sections (Rail trail, the boat from Kingston to Queenstown, the Taieri Gorge Railway) will have an upper limit of numbers, but there are still vacancies if you get in quickly.

We have seen the traffic department and registered our traffic plan. For long stretches of Otago and Southland we will be limited to 12 people on the road at any one time but near towns and on those parts of the Hikoi using off road tracks, there will be no limit on numbers. All are welcome, within those limits, though we aren't able to arrange drop off and pick up facilities for people, and folk will need to bring their own food.

On Wednesday Benjamin will drive us South to Invercargill, with a stop in Balclutha. We will travel to Stewart Island by plane on Thursday morning, and begin the Hikoi proper the next day at the Wohler's memorial. After a brief walk and talking with the whole Christian community on the Island, we will take the ferry back to Bluff, and visit the spectacular Te Rau Aroha marae. Our first serious day of walking will be the 28km to Invercargill next Saturday. See you there.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth, peace to those on whom his favour rests".
May the Lord's favour rest on you Kelvin, John, Phil, Wynston, Benjamin and all who join you in this wee walk about and all who hear the gospel of Jesus proclaimed over the next few weeks.
Isaiah 40:9-11
God bless,
Stu

Merv said...

Oh. Just discovered all the Hikoi info on 'Called South.'
Awesome! My compliments to your webmaster (Two Sparrows perhaps?)

Kelvin Wright said...

Thanks Stu. It seems like a long time since you and I sat down and you came up with the idea for this walk. Amazing to see it all coming to fruition.

Merv, our webmaster is Benjamin Brock Smith, and yes, he's done us proud in organising this hikoi and the publicity around it. The only issue, is that we started a little too late, but this was definitely not because of Benjamin.