Giant waterslide on Barry Hart's old land

Last updated 10:52 24/01/2013
Waterslide

LONG WAY DOWN: A map shows the height and length of the planned waterslide.

Barry Hart
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
FALL FROM GRACE: Auckland lawyer Barry Hart.
jimi hunt
MAKING A SPLASH: Founders of the Live More Awesome charity Jimi Hunt, left, and Dan Drupsteen are behind the World’s Biggest Waterslide event to raise awareness of depression.

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The former land of disgraced lawyer Barry Hart will host what is touted as the world's biggest waterslide.

The 650m long slide will grace the Woodhill farm on SH16 for a special charity event next month.

Former Rodney District councillor David Steele and his wife Joy bought the 40-hectare property at a mortgagee sale for $800,000 in August.

Winding down a giant hill will be what is believed to be the world's biggest water slide.

The industrial plastic installation will smash the previous record held by a 350m slide in Utah, claims creative designer Jimi Hunt.

Thrillseekers will ride the slopes in an event to raise money and awareness for the charity Live More Awesome.

The waterslide will be open on February 23 and 24. 

Hunt was in the grips of depression when he came up with a plan to lift his spirits. 

Live ''more awesomely'', he said, and you can beat the blues. 

The Devonport designer is the same man who last year journeyed the 425km length of the Waikato River on a $5 inflatable turtle to raise awareness of depression.

Hunt founded the registered charity Live More Awesome with business partner Dan Drupsteen after completing the crusade. 

They have both experienced depression and are determined to inspire others to come out the other side. 

Waterslides are typically a child's domain but Hunt insists this serpentine mammoth is for big kids only. 

The event is another on a long list of outrageous endeavours for the 32-year-old. 

''I think it's through the ho-hum monotony of day-to-day life that people slip into depression,'' he said. 

''From there they can't find inspiration in themselves. They need external inspiration and that's what Live More Awesome is aiming to provide.'' 

The waterslide is a way of demonstrating how lifestyle factors can work wonders for those battling a mental illness. 

"There are some key things to beating depression," Hunt said. 

"Vitamin D from getting out in the sun, the support of a community, having goals and something to look forward to and being active - this event encompasses all of those." 

One of the most common misconceptions about depressed people is that they look how they feel, he said. 

"People with depression wear a mask," Hunt said.

"I used to go out and be the happy, crazy, fun guy but then I would get home and cry.

''I met a doctor who thought about depression differently, rather than saying here's some drugs that'll fix you. Within a week of changing my lifestyle I went from being severely depressed to not at all."  

For more information see the Live More Awesome website and buy tickets here. 

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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