GODZone Volunteer Extraordinaire
Saturday 9th March 2019
In 2014 GODZone made it to Kaikoura where sensational landscapes, incredible paddling sections, beautiful weather and several pods of friendly dolphins made Chapter 3 a GODZone to remember.
No one in the management team will forget that year in a hurry and one of the most significant moments was getting to know Kaikoura local Mark Nevin.
With his 6.2 stature, Santa like beard and ‘can do’ attitude Mark quickly became a steadfast member of the GODZone team and has been at every Chapter since then.
With his various boats in tow and every perceivable piece of kit required for the manoeuvring in and out of jetty’s and harbours, Mark has provided GODZone with incredible support in more ways than one.
“Mark is loyal and trustworthy and an all-round straight up good guy. We have utilised his services and skills across safety and media for the past few years and he has transported many a TA staff person or member of the media to critical places,” says GODZone Safety Manager Wayne Allen. “He has every conceivable tool you could possibly need including generators, buoys, and equipment like 4WD bikes, kayaks and IRB’s and generously gives of his gear and his time.”
Every year Mark arrives from his beloved Kaikoura laden to the gunnels with beautiful Kaikoura crayfish that he has caught and frozen down specially to bring to GODZone for the annual volunteer’s dinner pre-race.
“That’s actually how we met him when he gave us 6 crayfish for the race. He was regularly catching and giving away the seafood to local hospitals and to people after the Christchurch earthquake,” says Allen
This extraordinary gesture shows the mark of the man and he loves sharing the seafood amongst the many national and international GODZone volunteers – many of whom have never seen a crayfish let alone eaten one before.
For the past 12 months Mark has been battling a major health crisis requiring many hospitalisations and multiple blood transfusions.
“He’s had a pretty rough time and only last week he was back in hospital receiving 14 units of blood just to get here – he has been battling hard to come back to GODZone this year,” says Allen. “And here he is – with his new boat, and mate Merv with another boat in tow to once again give time, energy and consideration to GODZone competitors and management team. Mark’s generosity has overwhelmed us all and we are so grateful to have him here with us for Chapter 8 – he’s a bloody good bloke and we can’t thank him enough for everything he has done for the race and its people.”