Paddling for Hawke’s Bay Rangatahi

Bernie Gunn Hawkes bay Foundation
  • Bernie Gunn

Hawke’s Bay’s Bernie Gunn has started training getting his paddle ready to leave Mahia on a solo waka-ama journey, crossing Hawke Bay to reach Napier, to raise funds for a cause close to his heart.

The paddle, which is expected to take around 15 hours, is a fundraising project and aims to raise $60,000 to send 14 Hawke’s Bay rangatahi to Outward Bound.
Bernie joins a group of generous supporters in Hawke’s Bay who have launched a designated fund through Hawke’s Bay Foundation, to support students to attend the Kaweka course now and for many years to come.

It’s his way of ‘giving back’ to his hometown and to Outward Bound, where he spent four years as an instructor.

“When I worked at Outward Bound I got to see first-hand the phenomenal effect a challenging experience in the outdoors can have. I’ve seen people become the best versions of themselves and align their lives with who they want to be and not just be okay with the status quo. For some kids their lives need a reset and for others, their lives are already good and they just need a tweak to make it better. That’s what’s motivated to me to help send even more people to Anakiwa to uncover their potential.”
It costs around $63,000 to send 14 secondary school students to ‘Kaweka’, a specially designed Outward Bound course for Hawke’s Bay young people.

As a keen outdoor adventurer himself and personal supporter of Outward Bound, Hawke’s Bay Foundation Chairman Giles Pearson is full of praise for Bernie’s mission.

“In today’s everchanging and fast-paced world, Outward Bound equips young people to build confidence, resilience and self awareness to better navigate and steer change in their lives – all the attributes Bernie will be pulling on to complete his 100 kilometre open water paddle. As a community foundation committed to the needs of Hawke’s Bay, we are extremely proud to support more young people on their journey to self discovery.”

A big part of Bernie’s fundraising mission is driven by giving back to his home.

“Young people in Hawke’s Bay deserve this opportunity.”

For donations to the Outward Bound Fund and more information visit: