The social media campaign on Facebook was initiated by seasoned kapa haka performer, Talei Morrison of Te Matarae i Ōrehu who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in August last year.
“My last smear was in 2008 at a clinic in Hamilton, the nurse that performed it nipped me and I started to bleed, it was sore, I was hōhā and decided that I would never have another one,” she writes.
“Since August 2017 I’ve had more than just a little nip performed on my body, operations, radiation and chemotherapy and the pain is indescribable. In Aotearoa/ New Zealand, 160 women every year are diagnosed with some type of cervical cancer and 50 of them will die (Ministry of Health, 2015). Look down your haka line up, that’s nearly every third woman.”
Talei says her and some of her “dearest friends and fiercest kaihaka wāhine in the world” are asking all women training for their regional comps to get their smears up to date before you hit that stage.
“Send me a photo of you after your appointment, with #smearyourmea #yourrohe #kapahaka2018 pulling our V sign. If you’re already up to date send me your photo right now, it’ll take 10 seconds!
“Like Kapahaka, the only thing you’ll win is the mana of having done it!”
Women are being encouraged to book into Korowai Aroha or visit Nurse Sonia Lewis of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao before March 3rd.