Kapa haka exponent challenging all female performers to get their smears done
In an innovative approach to raising cervical cancer awareness, 'Smear Your Mea' is the latest viral campaign.
It was created by high profile kapa haka exponent Talei Morrison who is challenging all female haka performers in New Zealand to get cervical smear tests.
“Ko te kaupapa matua ki te karo tērā mea te mate pukupuku taiawa. Kia tū hoki mātou ngā kaihaka hei tuawahine i roto i ngā iwi, i roto i ngā hapū.”
The veteran Te Mātārae i Ōrehu performer is using her own experience with cervical cancer to save one kapa haka team at a time.
“Ko au he mangai mō tēnei mea, kia kore ai ngā wāhine e tū ana ki taku tūranga. Ka taea e ngā wāhine katoa ki te tū ki te taha o tā rātou whānau ki te atamira ki te mahi i te kapa haka, nā te mea kāore au e taea ki mahi i tērā mahi ināianei.”
With the campaign only launching two – three days ago on Facebook, performers around the country have posted as proof of getting checked.
Morrison says she doesn't want her fellow haka women to experience what she has gone through.
“I te wā i mōhio au āe kua pā mai tēnei nanakia ki roto i ahau āe e tino uaua ki te tū, ki te karo taku mahi katoa, taku haerenga ki te whare hākinakina. Kāore au i wehe i te kāinga, kāore au i taea ki te wehe i te kāinga.”
According to the Ministry of Health, about 160 women develop cervical cancer each year and about 50 die from it.
Morrison wants to keep encouraging more women to get tested. In April she will find out whether her cervical cancer is cleared.