Wednesday May 24, 2017   Last updated 17:54PM
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Ancestral steps retraced for Ka'iulani

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A hikoi for a Kawhia toddler is past the half way stage with marchers heading southwest from Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia today.

The family of Ka'iulani Forbes is trying to raise money to get the two year old treated in the United States for neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that affects immature nerve tissue.

Organiser Frank Thorne says the eight rangatahi and two adults on the hikoi have been retracing tribal history.

So far they have come from Waihihi near Kaiaua where the Tainui waka spent some time, through the Hunua ranges and across the Waikato River.

They’re headed for the final resting place of the waka at Maketu on the Kawhia Harbour.

"Our whole kaupapa is trying to get them to understand what the land feels like from a tupuna perspective. They are loving it. They are undestanding the pain and struggle Ka'iulani will be going through with the little pains and struggles they are going through, when a nine minute drive becomes a three hour walk. That their tupuna has done it is reason enough that they can do it and should be able to do it for a little mokopuna," Mr Thorne says.

The hikoi expects to pick up more marchers today as it heads towards Pirongia with Saturday spent crossing the maunga and arriving at Maketu on Sunday afternoon.

FULL INTERVIEW: FRANK THORNE

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