THURSDAY 23rd FEBRUARY, 2023
Smear Your Mea cycling team rides 800km to Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata
The Smear Your Mea team cycled nearly 800 kilometres spreading the important message of protecting wahine cervical health to arrive in Tāmaki Makaurau for the Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata 2023 Festival.
Te Matatini Chief Executive Carl Ross, who saw the Smear Your Mea team off from Waitangi Park in Wellington last Tuesday (14 February), acknowledges the cyclists' grit and determination to get to Tāmaki Makaurau and set up a stall at Te Matatini Festival Marketplace.
“I mihi to the Smear Your Mea cycling team led by Te Ururoa Flavell and their dedication to raising awareness about the importance of cervical cancer screening for our wāhine and prostate exams for tāne (men). It’s been amazing to follow the team’s progress as they’ve visited communities on the way and each shared their reasons for joining the ride. Their mental and physical endurance to cycle nearly 800 kilometres to Te Matatini demonstrates the power of whanaungatanga and their commitment to protecting our whakapapa,” he says.
Smear Your Mea pays tribute to the memory of the late Te Mātārae i Ōrehu kaihaka, Telei Morrison, who initiated the campaign after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. She passed away in 2018.
Mr Ross says initiatives such as Smear Your Mea are instrumental in saving lives.
“I’m reminded that kaupapa led by our amazing kaihaka help enrich lives, not just of kapa haka whānau but the whole of Aotearoa. Te Matatini is proud to see that the Smear Your Mea cyclists and their support team arrived safely to Te Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata Festival along with te tini me te mano (many others) from across the motu including te whenua Moemoea.
The Smear Your Mea campaign from Wellington to Tāmaki Makarau (Auckland) was supported by the Māori-owned milk processing company, Miraka, in Taupō and the National Cervical Screening Programme.
More about Smear Your Mea can be found here along with highlights of the team’s ride from Te Whanganui-a-Tara to Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata National Festival.