Queenstown businessman Matthew Rose recently began the arduous task of walking the length of the South Island as a means of self-discovery combined with philanthropy.
Starting on 20 February, Matthew headed southbound on the Te Araroa Trail, starting at the historic Ship Cove in the Marlborough Sounds and will walk 1,400 km to the end at the southern terminus at Stirling Point, Bluff.
He predicts the walk will take somewhere between 60-70 days, depending on his fitness, tenacity, the weather, and buckets of good luck.
Matthew said he set this personal goal to repair his weary mind and to immerse himself in nature for his inner peace.
“Since the pandemic started, I have experienced inexplicable mental health episodes on several occasions. They have led me to query my relevance with my work and colleagues, my intellectual and social competence and, after a long career, my validity and true value to clients and my wider place in the community.
“The impact is often worry, self-doubt and a nagging lack of self-confidence. So, for context, I often reflect on what lies ahead, with the inevitable ageing of body and mind. As I am still a young 61 years, and my physical health and fitness remain high, the motivation is that whilst I can dream, I will.”
Embarking on a journey of endurance is an aspiration he wants to fulfil now. He believes this genuinely achievable goal will have demonstrably good outcomes for him and others with the opportunity to give back to the wider community.
For additional motivation, he is using the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for 10 charities that resonate with him for personal reasons, including Melanoma New Zealand. Other charities Matthew is supporting on his journey are Wakatipu Community Foundation – Mental Health Endowment Fund, Rainbow Youth, Christchurch City Mission, Antarctic Heritage Trust – Shackleton Centenary Year Inspiring Explorers Expedition, Braintree Wellness Centre – The Canterbury Brain Collective Limited, The Champion Foundation, Wakatipu High School Foundation, Bruce Grant Youth Trust and Hollyford Conservation Trust.
“The ubiquity of all cancer types has a massive impact and cost to every New Zealander. In 1995, I lost my beloved mother to ovarian cancer and in 2019 lost a dear brother to bowel cancer. My fundraising support for Melanoma New Zealand is in recognition of the fact we have the world’s highest melanoma incidence rate. As I will be in the great outdoors for the duration of the through tramp, raising awareness and funds for Melanoma New Zealand is a rewarding and salient objective.”
Matthew said his supportive wife, Rachel and work colleague, Johnny Cochrane, have helped him keep perspective, guided him with sound judgement and encouraging words to see the good through a few challenging periods, and are both fully supportive of this next endeavour.
He and Rachel have personally committed $10,000 to the fundraising and welcome others to support him in reaching a minimum fundraising goal of $250,000, which will be distributed equally to the above-mentioned charities, including Melanoma New Zealand. To follow Matthew’s journey and get involved, visit www.mattsgoodwalk.nz