Feb. 19, 2024 Live from the road

Wellington - Rongotai - The Beehive

Reported by Daniel Rubin 7.0 km

Rongotai College show their appreciation with a large heart, welcoming the Peace Run for a 5km run.

We explained a few key points which the boys were very impressed with - the fact that they are the ones to carry the dreams and hopes of a better world on this run.

Amis proudly and powerfully takes on the challenge and leads the boys on the run.

Happy runners enjoying a morning run.

The famous Wellington wind catches our hair and our spirits along the coastal route.

Fitness plays a key part in Rongotai's curriculum and these boys are involved in cricket, rugby, hocky and athletics.

A relaxed moment as we chat about the shared experience - we are all on the same team.

The boys sing their school song in Somoan as a token of Rongotai's appreciation of being involved in the first Peace Run relay on New Zealand soil in 2024.

We won't forget this occasion - a great start to the day.

Carrying the torch to the next school is a special addition to the Peace Run team, the winner of yesterday's Nuka Ora Round the Bays half marathon in a time of 81 minutes, Kumiko Otani. Her smile and cheerful nature instantly buoyed the team. Next to her is Yoko Yamaguchi, now of Auckland and also originally from Japan. Yoko joined the team just a week ago and has also brought a steady attitude and bright personality to the relay team. Her running has improved in leaps and bounds!

In Wellington High School students watch the promo video from the website. This is a scene from a run in Zambia - the speaker lays out a challenge: "Harmony begins with ME! Harmony begins with YOU!"

A juggernaut in the team, Ananda-Lahari Zuscin has entered the longest race in the world, the 3100 mile race, 19 times. Never tired and always ready to lend a hand we are sure all of Slovakia is proud of their legend.

Andrea Todic from Bosnia and Herzegovina sings a native song for the students.

Students take a moment to feel that they possess peace inside themselves.

The blustery Wellington wind only surcharges the students with enthusiasm.

Handing the torch is like sharing a moment of goodwill.

After Wellington High we honoured the Peace Capital Plaque in Cuba Mall - it links hundreds of places, parks and mountains in the world as part of the Sri Chinmoy Peace Blossom program. When he was Mayor Andy Foster re-dedicated Wellington's commitment to peace here.

These walker-bys were taken with the message of the run.

The big occasion of the afternoon is a visit to The Beehive, New Zealand's Parliament.

Students from Thorndon Primary School carry the torch up the steps to Parliament.

Waiting are ambassadors of foreign embassies and members of parliament.

Andy Foster in his latest role as an MP now welcomes the group to Parliament.

Watching the video from right to left are Green's MP Lan Pham, Taniya Scott Honorory Consul to Sri Lanka, Natalia Garcia PA to the Ambassador of Chile, Samoan High Commissioner Afamasaga Faamatalapun Toleafoa and the Charge d'affaires  of the Chile Embassy Juan Greene.

A moment's peace.

Isaac, the teacher from Thorndon School proudly wears the colours of his native Chile.

Taran's poem touched everyone.

Students representing their native countries and say a few words on  peace.

These two girls came to the conclusion that peace is in action, not in talking.

On the left enjoying the occasion is Kanomon Sananarong representing the Thai Embassy.

ACT MP Cameron Luxton speaks beautifully about the significance of the flaming torch - as a touchstone for peace.

Green's MP Lan Pham cherishes the diversity of cultures represented by the Thorndon Primary students as well as the message of peace for the children affected by conflicts in the world. She has set a precedent as the first ever Vietnamese MP in New Zealand.

His Excellency Mr Jose Emilio Bustinza Soto is the Ambassador of Peru.

He speaks about his favourite scene in a Charlie Chaplin movie, where Chaplin makes a stirring speech, a call for peace.

The Samoa High Commissioner Afamasaga Faamatalaupu Toleafoa explains the significance of the importance of these cultural props - the staff of peace for example.

Thorndon students thank the guests with certificate and a gift of an indoor flowering plant.

Natalia of Chile receives a certificate on behalf of her embassy.

A certificate for the Samoa High Commission, presented by a student.


Taniya Scott Honorary Consul to Sri Lanka wrote to us later: 

It was wonderful to be part of the special celebration and congratulations on all the wonderful work you do.

Chile is well represented by the Jerez family in national colours, and Juan Greene.

Durga Dass, second secretary to the India High Commisioner, holds the torch. He was moved to see that a fellow native Indian, Sri Chinmoy, has left a great legacy for others to tread.

The Chilean Embassy with their flowers.

Thorndon Primary students are full of beans - a good day in their Parliament.

Fiona and son, Spike, are a super mother-son running duo who guided us through the streets of the Greater Wellington region. Mum Fiona represents New Zealand internationally in ultra running and is a long-time friend of the Peace Run team.

Torch carried by
Andrea Todic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Caslav Mitrovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Daniel Rubin (South Africa), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Mark Harvey (New Zealand), Nirakara Lincoln (New Zealand), Preetidutta Thorpe (New Zealand), Roxana Magdici (Romania), Soraya Sewambar (South Africa), Yoko Yamaguchi (Japan).  
Accompanied by  
Fiona Hayvice, Spike Hayvice, Komiko Otani
Dhiraja McBryde
The torch has travelled 7.0 km from Wellington - Rongotai to The Beehive.

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