Dedicated cyclists visit region to share important 'Smear your Mea' message


8 February 2019

Ride4Talei cyclist Alf Robson (front) will be stopping in Whanganui on his way to Wellington to share the Smear your Mea message on Sunday 17 February

A group cycling from Rotorua to Wellington carrying the message of 'Smear Your Mea' is encouraging as many wāhine as possible to meet them as they pass through the Whanganui and Ruapehu district on 16 and 17 February.

Smear Your Mea is a kaupapa in memory of kapa haka and health champion Talei Morrison to raise awareness of cervical cancer and encourage women to have a smear test, and men to undertake prostate checks. Morrison died in June last year after a short battle with cervical cancer.

Morrison has links to the Whanganui/Rangitikei region through Nga Wairiki-Ngati Apa iwi, the hapu/subtribe of Ngati Huru te Ra and Kauangaroa Marae (10km past Fordell) through her father Kyle Ellison, husband of Sandy Morrison of Te Arawa – older sister of Temuera Morrison.

The group’s tour begins at Morrison’s burial site on 15 February and will end on 20 February at Te Matatini national kapa haka competition in Wellington where Morrison wanted to have 100 percent of all Māori performers to have had checks before they hit the stage – a wish the group say they will make happen.

Along the way the group of cyclists, led by former Māori Party co-leader Hon Te Ururoa Flavell, are meeting with Māori health groups in various communities over the five-day journey to promote the importance for women to go and get checked.

Supported by Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB), Whanganui Regional Health Network’s Ruapehu Health, Ngāti Rangi Community Health Centre and Ngāti Rangi Trust, the group will be passing through Ohakune to share their message, stopping at Ngāti Rangi Community Health Centre (36 Burns Street, Ohakune) from 1pm-3pm on Saturday 16 February. Local health services will run free screening clinics while the cyclists are visiting so as many women as possible have the opportunity to get checked.

Another rider sharing the same message is Alf Robson from Taranaki Toa Triathlon Group who is also cycling to Te Matatini in Wellington but is starting out from New Plymouth. Robson will stop in at Whanganui Hospital’s Te Piringa Whānau building (Gate 2 entrance) from 12pm to 1.30pm on Sunday 17 February where like Ohakune’s events, free cervical screening will also be provided.

For more information about this kaupapa, visit

Or to follow the Ride4Talei journey, visit

A cervical smear test every three years can detect changes in the cervical cells which can lead to cervical cancer. Having a cervical smear every three years reduces your risk of developing cervical cancer.