The Matt Hunt Program

Following the great success of the Curtis Palmer Project run by Pilgrim Bandits in the UK. PBNZ has set up a similar project here in New Zealand. On the 30th July 2021 (Matt’s Birthday) With the full support of Matt’s family and friends, Pilgrim Bandits NZ will launch The Matt Hunt Program.

A message from Matt’s Mum, Diane. ( This was written around the time of the trial hence the reference to Matt’s Birthday).

“Today is Matthew’s 30th birthday. Whilst working as a NZ Police Officer Matthew’s life was taken on 19 June 2020. He was just 28 years old. Matthew is loved by many. We are heartbroken that he has been taken from us in such a horrific way and we will never, ever, get over it.

He had achieved so much, a degree in Criminology, lifelong loving friendships, a career pathway mapped out. He intended to join CIB and become a Detective, a role which would have suited him perfectly. Matthew loved challenging himself both mentally and physically. He loved CrossFit and found it to be a perfect fit for him.

When Matthew went overseas he was based in London. He had a UK passport due to his maternal family being English. The fact that Pilgrim Bandits NZ is an organisation affiliated with Pilgrim Bandits Charity UK has a ‘coming home’ feel to it. Pilgrim Bandits philosophy of offering support to those with physical or mental challenges and pushing them out of their comfort zones is the way Matthew lived his life – always challenging himself to be a better version of himself. Creating a legacy like this for Matthew, where his name will be forever associated with helping others to better themselves through challenges and friendship, feels right.” Diane Hunt

Any Police Officer or First Responder can apply to be a part of it and benefit from the activities we run. You will be put alongside ex Military people and have some great experiences both in New Zealand and abroad (Covid-19 pending) designed to help you deal with stress, PTSD and physical injury.

Pilgrim Bandits NZ is an NZ registered and based charity, we are part of the International Pilgrim Bandits family. If you travel on one of our overseas trips you will likely be with people from the UK, USA and Canada.

Many Police Force’s and First Responder’s employer’s sickness costs are extremely high and one of the main reasons is PTSD, anxiety and stress. By taking these people and using the ethos of the Special Forces we ask them to go “Always a little further” in extreme environments, instilling self worth, confidence, teamwork and a positive mental attitude. No sympathy is given just support and teamwork.