Site banner

Journey of Hope Commences

24 November 2010

At ten o’clock this morning (24 November) students  Xaver Hausner and Oliver Macindoe left Cape Reinga on the first leg of their 3358km Journey of Hope – to raise awareness about polio and also to raise funds for the global Rotary Foundation PolioPlus programme which is aimed at eradicating the disease of polio from the planet.

In the words of Melinda Gates (whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a partner with Rotary in the struggle to eradicate polio) “the biggest obstacle we face is that people think polio is old news. It isn't old news for many people in Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but it could be. We are this close.”

The first leg of 87 km takes the riders down State Highway One to Lake Waipareira.  Tomorrow they will  travel to Whangaroa Harbour.

Details of the entire route are available on the website

The ride is expected to take 54 days and is scheduled to finish on 16 January at Bluff having roundfed East Cape and also traversed the West Coast of the South Island.

Rotary clubs along the chosen route will provide food and shelter and have also organised a range of fundraising activities.  

The Journey of Hope is expected to reach Auckland on 1 December where the two riders ex[pect to be accompanied by a number of Rotarian cyclists as they make their way own the North Shore before heading into the city and doing a loop through Newmarket, Remuera, and Mission Bay before heading back to Aotea Square for a welcome which will include Auckland Rotarians, dignitaries and the Leader of the Opposition Hon Phil Goff.

Following the Auckland welcome Xaver and Oliver have been invited to have afternoon tea with His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Anand Satyanand and Lady Susan Satyanand.

Rotarians have already pledged more than $10,000 to PolioPlus as a result of the Journey  of Hope.
As the Journey of Hope moves down the country thousands of Rotarians will be involved in activities to support the project from running sausage sizzles and fundraising BBQs to getting on their bikes and joining in.

For further information contact

Journey of Hope National Coordinator
Francis Wevers
(021) 916010

Journey of Hope – Cycling NZ for Polio Plus sets off from Cape Reinga on Wednesday 24 November

22 November 2010

The 54 day cycle ride by two university students to promote awareness about polio and to help raise funds for the global campaign to eradicate polio sets off from Cape Reinga on Wednesday 24 November on the start of a 3358 kilometre “Journey of Hope” to Bluff.

Xaver Hausner, a Rotary Ambassadorial scholar from Germany, and his friend Oliver Macindoe will travel down the east coast of the North Island and the West Coast of the South Island as they bring the message “As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk” to many towns and cities.

Along the way they will work with the 250 Rotary Clubs of New Zealand to participate in local events en route and provide a focal point for local fundraising.

Rotary internationally is working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ensure that polio is eradicated in the four countries in the world where it is still endemic. The “End Polio Now” campaign has been going since 1988.

Rotary Clubs north of Auckland will welcome the two intrepid cyclists as they make their way down to Auckland.

Xaver and Oliver will meet with members of the Rotary Club of Kaitaia on Thursday. The club has pledged a donation of $500 to the cause.

Nationally, more than $10,000 has been raised before the Journey of Hope even starts.

It is also expected that keen Rotary cyclists will join the Journey of Hope as it moves south.

The specially created website will feature daily updates on the progress of the Journey of Hope.

The schedule through the north is:

 24-Nov Cape Reinga to Lake Waiparera

25-Nov Lake Waiparera to Whangaroa

26-Nov Whangaroa to Paihia


28-Nov Paihia to Whangarei

29-Nov Whangarei to Mangawhai Heads


Xaver and Ollie’s big bike ride

3 November 2010

Two students cycle New Zealand to raise money to fight polio

Two young men, a Kiwi and a German, are cycling from North Cape to Bluff to raise money for Rotary’s campaign to end polio.

Xaver Hausner is a 24 year old German student from Bavaria who has spent a year at Victoria University in Wellington as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. He and his best Kiwi mate Ollie Macindoe (23) are both keen cyclists and to mark their year together they wanted to do something memorable.

“We decided on a big bike ride from one end of the country to the other. It’s adventure our way. We wanted to combine the adventure with supporting a good cause. We chose the End Polio Now campaign which Rotary is running worldwide, and thought that we could publicise the cause along the way’, the two guys say.

“Now it is quite a big deal. Rotary Clubs along our route are going to be fundraising for us, as well as helping us out with accommodation and food.

“We’ve got a website and we’ll be blogging each day on our adventures.” (see

Xaver and Ollie leave Cape Reinga on Wednesday 24 November and are scheduled to be in Bluff on Sunday 16 January 2011. The North Island leg ends in Wellington on 21 December.

The End Polio Now campaign is a worldwide initiative by Rotary International to eliminate the disease in the last four remaining countries where it still occurs – in parts of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

For the last 25 years Rotary has been working with the World Health Organisation and UNESCO to eradicate polio throughout the world, and the campaign has been supported by grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for over USD $220 million. (Relevant links are listed below)

The boys’ route takes then from Cape Reinga to Auckland and then through the Bay of Plenty and around the East Cape to Gisborne, and then down the Wairarapa to Wellington arriving just before Christmas. They then head to the South Island and ride down the West Coast to Queenstown and into Southland ending up in Bluff on 16 January.

“It’s a journey of 3358 kilometres, says Francis Wevers, the head of Rotary’s support group for the project, “so we have divided the journey into 250 segments of 13.4 kms, and we are asking our 250 clubs to back the boys with sponsorship of at least $10 a kilometre. Already one club in Rotorua has signed up for $100 per km.

“They’ll be meeting various dignitaries along the way: the Governor General the Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand is meeting them and Wellington’s new Mayor Celia Wade Brown, herself a keen cyclist, will ride with the boys into Wellington.”

“We don’t have a particular dollar figure in mind as a target, but all donations will go directly to the fight against polio, and the donations are effectively doubled by the matching grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” Mr Wevers said.

The full schedule of their journey with dates and distances is attached.

There is more background information on polio and on the boys’ ride at

+ Text Size -
Original generation time 1.2010 seconds.