A day of magic for children with special needs

More than 600 children with special needs and their families have been treated to a free day at an Auckland carnival.

The event, organised by Funfest Charitable Trust and Trillian Trust, saw the families treated to rides, food and entertainment.

Kim Hillier is a foster parent to a 13-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl who both have cerebral palsy.

"Just because they're in wheelchairs it doesn't mean that they can't go out and enjoy themselves just like any other kids," Ms Hillier says.

"They deserve the same right as every other kid."

Organiser Doug Te Moni says it's all about creating some magic.

"Most of these kids face struggles day to day - so do the families," he says.

"So just for today if we can put smiles on their faces and transport them to a place of happiness and fun and for mum and dad to have all the stress taken away, we've got to be winning."

Ray Van Der Ross' teenage son Marco has Down Syndrome and she says she's thankful to the organisers for putting on the event.

"This event actually just helps them to be with other children with the same abilities," she says.

"It's an awesome thing - absolutely awesome."