Hikoi planned for Ka’iulani

By Leo Horgan

Māori Party MP and Co-Leader Te Ururoa Flavell has sent his best wishes to the whanau of Ka’iulani Forbes, who begin their 200km hikoi today to raise money for treatment that is urgently needed by the two-year-old who has won hearts across the country.

It took 50 visits to a number of medical experts before Ka’iulani Forbes (Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Whatua, Ngapuhi) was diagnosed with a rare cancer, neuroblastoma. The aggressive cancer has so far, been unresponsive to treatments offered in Aotearoa.

“The whanau require funds to enable them to access specialist treatment in the United States which will provide Ka’iulani with the greater chance of surviving this cancer,“ says Mr Flavell.

“A very good friend of mine is an Aunt to this kotiro, and asked if I would get on board with them and use my profile to raise some putea and awareness around the efforts the whanau are making. I was only too happy to help.”

A range of fundraising events have taken place to date, with the Chiefs, led by Liam Messam raising about $50,000.

Waikite Gym in Rotorua has events planned on 22 April, and there is a dedicated Facebook page set up with the various fundraisers taking place around the country.

“All contributions are welcome and can be made on the Givealittle page set up for Ka’iulani,” Mr Flavell says.

The Hikoi will take place over seven days and covers 200km from Hauraki, Waihihi to Maketu, Kawhia.