Pakanga challenge launched to honour ancestors

updated By Te Ao Māori News
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A community challenge has been laid down to test the physical, spiritual, nutritional and cultural abilities of a person called the 136 Day Pakanga Challenge.

The campaign is being led by Brad Totorewa (Ngāti Naho) who was inspired by the bravery of his ancestors who fought in the Rangiriri war. The initiative is to encourage people to look after themselves holistically.

Totorewa says, “If we look at the health statistics, Māori are at the bottom.  Whether that be in the community, health, prisons or education.”

Everyday a different challenge will be given via Facebook, like the "Wildcard" which involves shovelling heaving rocks to carrying bags of potatoes.

“This is an important initiative for Māori.  To learn from the way our ancestors lived back then, planting gardens, which kept them fit, eating healthy," said Ngarino Watt.

The challenge is open to children through to the elderly.