The social media star walking 280km along State Highway 35 to raise money for the cyclone relief has raised nearly $50,000.
Te Aorere Pēwhairangi, who has nearly 180k social media followers, started walking from Gisborne to Hicks Bay on Monday.
Speaking to Breakfast this morning, he said his legs and feet are sore, but his wairua is “really good”.
Pēwhairangi has been stopping to share stories with people along the way and he said the biggest message he’s received from people is that they don’t feel seen.
“There’s been heaps of stories of you know, a metre of silt covering the road and two metres of water above that, there’s huge slips.”
He said there are still a lot of isolated communities with long roads ahead of them.
“The people who walk with me, they tell me their stories and yeah the main message is that they’re feeling forgotten.”
Pēwhairangi initially planned to walk for 10 days, but thinks he is likely to finish tomorrow.
“I’m glad I’m almost there.”
“I guess my main message is, or what I want people to know is, just remember that we’re here, we’re still here and these are the most vulnerable communities in the country and with these extreme weather events happening more and more, they’re hit hard and it takes a lot for them to recover.”
“I want people to remember Tairāwhiti is still here, the people are still here, and they are resilient.”