Date: Monday, 07 May 2012
Posted by: Cycling Southland


The Neonatal Trust (New Zealand) was established in late 2009 to support the parents of this country’s smallest and sickest babies.

A steady increase in the number of premature or sick newborn babies in New Zealand (5-6,000+ per year) was the catalyst for the establishment of a national charity aimed at helping and supporting parents.

While hospitals look after our most vulnerable and newest citizens, The Neonatal Trust exists to provide a nationwide framework for regional neonatal pastoral care, for their families across New Zealand.

To date, regional Trusts have been established in Auckland, Wellington, Otago, Waikato and Canterbury. These areas cover from Cape Reinga to Bluff, and include the Chattam Islands

The Trusts collectively have three objectives:

The primary focus for the Trusts is supporting parents by helping them in whatever way we can to get through, what is usually, a very traumatic time.

Neonatal Trust volunteers, many of whom have had babies in one of the country’s five Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), work to reduce the stress typically felt by families with premature or critically ill babies. They visit parents in the NICUs to assess individual needs, which can range from wanting access to information, to practical, financial or emotional help.

The Trust plans to establish local support groups for every stage of the neonatal experience nationwide.  For instance, the Auckland Trust already funds a development therapist who works with pre-school children at Trust-run playgroups. Wellington has been providing equipment to the newly built unit, Christchurch has introduced Neonatal Graduate Earthquake Survival Kits and the list goes on.

The second aim of the Trusts is to assist the Neonatal Care Units in practical ways such as purchasing or contributing to the cost of equipment and funding for staff to attend neonatal educational seminars or other professional development.

The third aim of the Trusts is to aid neonatal-related medical research.

The Neonatal Trust (New Zealand) does not receive any Government funding and is reliant on donations; sponsorship and fundraising events to supplement our operating costs and initiatives such as those detailed above.

The aim is to raise $1,000,000 annually through this event called Ride4Life and to achieve this goal The Neonatal Trust have enlisted a group to plan and co-ordinate this undertaking. 

Allow me to introduce Mike Raynes. Mike is a serving Police Officer for 35 Years.  He also has a passion for fundraising and during his spare time he raises money for charitable organisations and has been actively involved in fundraising for over 25 years, supporting a variety of charities. Mike’s company is called Capital Multi Sports Ltd. For 19yrs he organised a charity cycle ride around the lower half of the north island where he and a small team of civilians and police officers raised approximately $100,000 dollars (in one week) per annum for Te Omanga Hospice in Lower Hutt; Wanganui Hospice and Arohanui Hospice in Palmerston North.

He also organised events such as Charity auctions; raffles; Christmas Parties for approximately 3,000 children; Sporting events such as Marathons, half marathons, duathalons and triathlons.  In addition, he has organised charity collections for over 15yrs at events like The Petone Fair; Fielding Field Days; provincial rugby games; collections at the Wellington Westpac Stadium for concerts such as Elton John and Neil Diamond; street collections for a variety of charities. For the past 4 years he has organised The Great New Zealand Englefield Duck Race which has raised in excess of $40,000 annually for 4 charities.

Mike and his dedicated team are a non-profit organisation and to maximise the amount donated to the various charities, they run side events to raise funds to cover the operational costs of the main event.

Through their fundraising efforts they have over the years raised a considerable amount of money for a number of worthy charities and continue to do so. I mention these collections so you as an organisation can have some confidence in his ability to be able to plan and implement a proposed event scheduled for March 2013.

This will become a high profile New Zealand event annually for The Neonatal Trust.


Based on the concept of the “Annual Hospice Appeal”, there will be a core team of 8 cyclists (with support vehicles and personnel) and a collection team.  Over a period of approximately 18 days, the cyclists will cycle from Cape Reinga to Bluff, then finish at the Invercargill Velodrome to coincide with a New Zealand record attempt by Eugene Collins on 15th/16th March 2013. Last year Eugene rode from Auckland to Wellington in a time of 26hrs 20min 10sec to raise money for The Neonatal Trust. The Collection Team will travel ahead of the cyclists collecting as we move through the smaller towns/centres.  There will be stopovers in the larger centres where we intend to maximise the collection efforts with static collection points at local supermarkets; malls and large retail outlets etc.

The route we intend to take is as follows:

North Island

Cook Strait Ferry

South Island

Cape Reinga









Palmerston North





It is currently planned to have stationery cycles set up on the Ferry so that the cyclists create an attraction for on board collections









As an organisation that is involved in providing assistance to various organisations through local and national fundraising ventures, Lions has the national infrastructure in place to provide continuity of support throughout the country in the areas of providing logistical information and support and local collection personnel, ie.

  • Providing lists and contact details of business’ and media operating in each area to enable us to plan our collection points and program.
  • Provide assistance to access local facilities in respect of accommodation, food and sustenance for the travelling team.
  • Provide local Collection personnel and co-ordinators at the various towns / centres to carry out static collections at supermarkets; malls, major retail outlets etc.

    Should you have any questions, we will be happy to answer them for you. Mike can be contacted on 021 265 7427 or me on 027 221 0730

Meanwhile, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to explain our proposal to you and look forward to a favourable response and to having “Lions” on board for this exciting venture.

The team are also happy to talk with anyone who may be able to lend a hand during the official track record attempt.

Best regards
Michael N Meads
Chief Executive
The Neonatal Trust NZ
027 221 0730


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