Join us for kai and kōrero with Mike King and Richie Barnett

Published on 19 October 2023


As a local recovery initiative, Mike King and Richie Barnett are visiting the Coromandel to talk about mental health and Gumboot Friday – their charity which connects young people with mental health support.

Join Mike in Coromandel Town and Whitianga, or Richie in Thames, Whangamatā and Tairua, for some kai and a chance to hear about their work to create positive change for rangatahi.

Mike King is the founder of I Am Hope and Gumboot Friday and has worked tirelessly since 2009 in the mental health space, focusing on the tamariki of New Zealand for the last few years.

He has spoken to and helped thousands of young people around NZ, championing for change around mental health and creating space for life-changing conversations. His charity Gumboot Friday provides free counselling to rangatahi in distress.

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"I am dedicated to driving a positive change in societal attitudes towards mental health and ensuring a better future for our young people,” says Mike King.

Former rugby league star Richie Barnett is a sporting great but also has a huge amount to give to the youth of NZ. He works with boys who need additional support as they navigate the trials of life, motivating and encouraging them to reach their potential.

"I love working with I Am Hope because I get to work alongside amazing New Zealanders who care and want the best for our children, by understanding and listening to their needs in order to improve well-being in Aotearoa,” says Richie. 

These events are coordinated by our Council supported by the Ministry of Primary Industries Resilience Fund, as part of our Council’s Recovery Plan.

Dates and times (all sessions are free, just turn up):

Coromandel Town (Mike King)
Tuesday October 24
Coromandel Citizens Hall
455 Kapanga Road, Coromandel Town
Light finger food provided.

Whitianga (Mike King)
Wednesday October 25
Mercury Bay Bowling Club
92 Cook Drive, Whitianga
Light supper provided.

Thames (Richie Barnett)
Thursday October 26
Thames on Kirkwood
100 Kirkwood St, Thames
Light supper provided.

Whangamatā (Richie Barnett)
Friday October 27
Whangamatā Surf Club, Williamson Park, Whangamatā
Light supper provided.

Tairua (Richie Barnett)
Saturday October 28
Tairua Fishing Club
12 The Marina, Tairua
Lunch provided.

To find out more about Mike and Richie's work, visit