Tributes continue to pour in for kapa haka star, academic, and health campaigner Talei Morrison.

The 42-year-old died on Friday from cervical cancer, but according to family spokesperson Te Ururoa Flavell, her legacy, message and example to all Māori will continue to live on. 

“Kei te aroha ki to rātou whaea karangamaha e takoto mai nei, engari kei te miharo anō hoki ki te āhuatanga o ngā kōrero kua puta.

“Mai i te wā i a ia i te Kura o Wikitoria, ā, ka pakeke mai i roto i ngā mahi whare tū taua, ko te Mātārae i Ōrehu i kōrerohia, ko ngā mahi o roto i te Tahūhū o te Mātauranga. Engari ko te kauapa nui ko te ‘Smear Your Mea’, tana kaupapa nānā anō rā tērā kaupapa i whakairi ki mua i te aroaro o te ao Māori.”

Morrison founded the Smear Your Mea campaign after she was diagnosed with cancer. In an earlier interview, she said she wanted to raise awareness among Māori women, as well as the rest of the country.

“Kua pā mai tēnei nanakia ki roto i ahau. Āe, he tino uaua ki te tū, ki te karo i taku mahi katoa, taku haerenga ki te whare hākinakina - kāore au e wehe i te kainga, kāre au e taea te wehe i te kainga.”

Flavell says her ultimate goal was for other women to not end up in the same situation that she found herself in.

“Ka tau mai te taumahatanga o te haere ki te takuta, ka kore e haere, kātahi ka waiho ki te meneti whakamutunga ka tau mai ngā taumahatanga ki runga, pēnei i a ia. Nō reira, koinei tāna īnoi, tāna tono ki te iwi Māori, kia haere ki te takuta.”

Morrison will lie at Te Papaiōuru Marae in Rotorua until her burial on Wednesday.

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