Funfest hosts inaugural VIP Day for 1000 disadvantaged Kiwi kids

updated By Wepiha Te Kanawa

It's moments like this you can't buy.  For these young ones it's a moment they will remember forever.

Marketing manager Doug Te Moni, who has volunteered for Funfest for years now, says, "Special needs kids who don't normally get a chance to actually enjoy the Funfest because of the number we have during the normal days to the public.  So today is a day just for them and their whānau and to give them a special aroha."
For one day only, Trillian Trust has hand-picked over 1,000 disadvantaged kids from around the country just to have fun.

Te Moni adds, "They already have a lot of barriers in life already to overcome.  So coming to an event like this normally for them is another barrier that they have to overcome.  They've got to wait in long queues, sometimes some of the rides that may not actually be able to host them because of their particular ailments."

Ataria Heta (Ngāpuhi) says, "It's an incredible day for these kids with illnesses and for troubled kids too.  So I'm honoured to be here!"

Some of the families are from outside of Auckland, but that wasn't holding one particular whānau back.

"We've decided that we want to celebrate them and just them and let them come in and enjoy our Funfest Day free.  Free entry, free parking, free rides and even our kai and our drink today for our manuwhiri is free," explains Te Moni.

Funfest will open to the public tomorrow and is expected to draw crowds of up to 15,000 a day.  For now, these kids are taking full advantage of their special day.