Wero for all university students to 'gumboot up'

By Jessica Tyson

Māori and Pasifika students at Victoria University have put out a wero for all other wānanga and polytechnic tauira to wear gumboots for a cause on Friday.

It’s part of Gumboot Day, a national day run by mental health advocate Mike King and the Key to Life Charitable Trust in a bid to raise $2mil to provide free counselling to tamariki.

As part of the challenge, students Safari Hynes and Te Mahara Swanson Hall filmed and edited the video.

“The main objective of the video was to showcase as many students covering the many elements of university life wearing gumboots,” says Hynes, 18, of Rangitāne o Wairau, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Ngāi Tahu descent.

In the video dozens of students were filmed dancing, visiting the marae, studying and fitness training while wearing their gumboots.

At the end of the video, student Nohorua Parata shares a kōrero about the importance of the kaupapa.

“Depression and mental health is like wearing gumboots and walking through mud every day and the struggle that comes with it," he says.

“So I’m putting the tono and the challenge out there to all our universities across New Zealand, and our polytechs too, to get behind an awesome kaupapa.”

Hynes says, “Without the help of every single person who grabbed a pair of gumboots and jumped on the waka of the kaupapa, there would be no video.”  

Kiwi celebrities backing the cause include Sam Neil, Taika Waititi, Rachel Hunter and Parris Goebel.

Events are being held nationwide and a Gumboot HopeWalk is being held on Thursday April 4 at Auckland's One Tree Hill.

A givealittle page has been set up for donations to be made to the cause.