The Motatapu Event


Each year for one day only, the pristine trails of the Motatapu welcomes thousands of adventurers to experience one of New Zealand’s favourite off-road sporting events.

Set in the stunning Wanaka to Queenstown high country, the race takes competitors through some of the most stunning high country terrain in New Zealand. 

Participants in the Skoda Mountain Bike Challenge travel 47 km between Wanaka and Arrowtown, climing 1,214 metres in total and reaching a highest point of 875 metres.

'The Road to Motatapu' Programme

Five young men have been selected to join the 'Road to Motatapu Team' to compete in the 2017 Motatapu mountain bike race.

These team members are all young adolescents, who while having had a troubled background, have all exhibited a desire to change their ways and provide a valuable contribution to society.  

Each team member will be provided with a bicycle and necessary cycling equipment (helmets, shoes, team training attire and bicycle repair equipment).  

The main aim is to help these young people make ‘better choices’.

During the lead up to the Motatapu 2017 event, the team will train two to three times a week, with a requirement to complete minimum distances each week.

Mentors from a range of backgrounds will ride with the Team as Riding Buddies on a rostered and voluntary basis, encouraging Team members to push themselves and commit to the Programme, and providing a positive role model to help the Team members better understand how better choices can be made.  

The Training Buddies will all have a story to tell about their 'lives, employment and careers' and will share some of this with the Team members in an effort to assist the Team to develop their own life and career goals. 

This could possibly be one of a very times that people have taken the time to 'listen to, talk with and encourage' the Team members. 

There will be a ‘zero to low tolerance’ to drug use or crime while Team members are on the programme.

On race day, the Team will need to finish within 50 metres of each other, making it a true Team event where the success of the fastest Team member will only be as good as the performance of the slowest Team member.

The Team will be incentivised to ensure that all members commit and remain with the Programme and complete the race event.

When the Team members have had a chance to set some personal goals and determine possible future employment paths, wider supporters of The Believe Foundation will look to leverage their collective contacts in an effort to secure some employment or training opportunities for Team members who complete the challenge.

A documentary is being produced to capture the period leading up to and the event and the event itself..

It is hoped that the impact on this years Team will be such that they become Riding Buddies for competitors to help other competitors to compete in future years.

Programme Mentors



Reon is a mentor to the Team members.

Growing up amidst the turbulent undercurrent of violence, addiction, and dysfunction, Reon Nolan became intimately familiar with the revolving door of corrections and child, youth & family facilities throughout his youth and adulthood.

When Reon’s father was murdered at 12 he swiftly adopted a new ‘family’ of equally lost children who shared his desperate desire to escape the pain of life. Spiralling into a life of crime and crippling addiction Reon was on a one-way trip to self-destruction.

In and out of detention centres and child youth and family care as a youth, Reon joined the general adult population of Chirstchurch Men’s Prison at just 16 years of age, where he soon found protection in fellow inmates that would only serve to further bolster his false sense of pride and belonging, drawing him further into the vortex of disillusionment and destruction.

A life that had been consumed by fear, shame, guilt, abandonment, rage and resentment would play itself out through a life of crime alongside an on going battle with alcoholism and addiction.

Rebuilding his life one day at a time Reon has fought and conquered his hellish inner and outer struggles to create a fulfilling life that is built on hope, determination, and reliance on the support of positive influences and mentors.

Living proof that change is possible, Reon’s own journey of recovery gives inspiration and encouragement needed for others facing similar challenges to make a better life for themselves.

Reon also offers a unique insight for professionals into how to effectively provide support and those much needed glimmers of hope for young people facing a similar journey.

In 2015, Reon founded the Te Rangatahi Tumanako Trust providing support to youth struggling with many of the same issues that he himself has overcome.


Apply to Join the "2019 Road to Motatapu Team"

.Applications are being accepted to join the 2017 Road to Motapapu Team (training to start in July 2017), in preparation for the Motatapu 2019 race on 10 March 2018. 

Successful applicants will receive:

  • Bicycle and necessary safety equipment;
  • Cycle maintenance during training;
  • Event entry fees for lead up events and for Motatapu 2017 ; and
  • Travel to and from event and accommodation at Motatapu.

Apply below.

Date of Birth *
Date of Birth
Referee - please provide details of a family member, friend or other person you know who will tell us a little about you and support your application to joint the Road to Motatapu Team for 2017.
Referee - Name *
Referee - Name