Topics: Kapa Haka, Rereātea - Midday News

Fun run and hikoi to honour Talei Roimata Morrison

By Jessica Tyson
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Renowned teacher, kapa haka leader and mother, Talei Morrison, will be honoured on the anniversary of her cancer diagnosis with a fun ride and hīkoi.

'To Talei With Love' will be held in Rotorua on August 26 to honour Morrison and to launch a national Smear Your Mea Day.

Participants will take to the streets in the colour teal to support the kaupapa in three events; a 50km road ride around Lake Rotorua, 8km bike ride on the cycleway and a 6.5km walk or run.

“We want bikes, walking shoes, prams, the whānau, dog, the more the merrier. It is about being together all as one, talking, laughing and sharing each other’s time,” event organisers say on the event Facebook page.

Morrison was diagnosed with cervical cancer in August last year.  She documented her journey in a blog that slowly turned into a campaign, Smear your Mea, urging female kapa haka performers to get screened for cervical cancer.

Family spokesperson Te Ururoa Flavell, who has helped to organise the event, recently told Te Kāea reporter Mere McLean that Morrison “was one of those extraordinary mana Māori wahine.”

“She was loved by her family and friends, over the last few days many have come to pay their respect she touched so many lives.”

Smear Your Mea campaign. 

Many wāhine benefited from her campaign according to the chairman of the Trust Tiria Waitai, also a performer for Te Waka Huia.

“Talei was an icon when performing with her group Te Mātarae I Ōrehu.  However when she fell ill she wasn’t able to perform with them during the regionals this year.  That’s when the concept of Smear your Mea was born to encourage our wahine kai-haka to go for a check-up,” said Waitai at Morrison’s funeral.

The To Talei With Love event will start with a karakia at Kauae Urupa, Morrison's final resting place from 9.30am on Sunday August 26.