National | Cyclone

Brakes put on Smear Your Mea bike journey to Te Matatini

Cyclone Gabrielle continues its disruption across the country today including the Smear Your Mea campaign bike ride – the eight-day ride from Te Whanganui-a-Tara to Tāmaki Makaurau that hopes to raise awareness for cervical and prostate cancer.

The national state of emergency has put a brake on the ride for today, as Te Ururoa Flavell says, with safety for everyone involved being the top priority.

Fifteen riders are taking part in the journey. Today they are staying at Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki though the first stop of the journey was meant to be in Foxton.

Pause the pedals - Ride 4 Talei hits a cyclone-sized bump on the road.

The ride ending in Tāmaki Makaurau coincides with the start of Te Matatini 2023 to be held in Ngā Ana Wai / Eden Park. It’s fitting as the Smear Your Mea campaign was created by Te Mātārae I Ōrehu performer Talei Morrison, who died from cervical cancer.

But Te Matatini chief executive Carl Ross says that despite the challenges past and present that Māori have faced, the ‘Olympics’ of kapa haka is still full steam ahead.

“We have a contingency booked so that, if it does rain, the only thing that will stop Te Matatini going ahead will be if Eden Park has to close,” he says. “That’s the only thing.”

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