Public safety comes first with mental health advocate Mike King stopping the nation-wide Tractor Trek in New Plymouth
due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
A fleet of 20 tractors was driving from Bluff to Cape Reinga to help raise awareness of youth mental health ahead of
Gumboot Friday, the national fundraising day on April 3rd. Last year Gumboot Friday raised $1.3m to provide more than
10,500 critical counselling sessions for more than 2,500 young New Zealanders.
The trek started in Bluff on March 4th and was to travel the length of the country before finishing in Auckland on March
26th holding community events along the way. The events have been well attended but with the country’s fight against the
virus intensifying and new restrictions on public gatherings, there was only one option.
“Stopping the trek is the right thing to do as the country digs in against Coronavirus. We’ve been thrilled with the
reception that the team has had so far but our team and public safety comes first,” Mike King said.
“The key thing for New Zealanders to do now is to look after themselves, their nearest and dearest and their friends.”
The team will regroup and look at options around Gumboot Friday.
“The need for critical counselling sessions is strong as ever, more so now with all the heightened uncertainty and
anxiety. We remain committed to Gumboot Friday on April 3 and to do everything we can under the circumstances.” King
Please see full press release attached and images of the tour here.