Health & Wellbeing
A foot accustomed to running over roots makes the speediest runner.
North of Kaitaia is Te Hiku o Te Ika a Maui (the tail of the fish of Maui) – the narrowest part of New Zealand. In some places from the road, you can see the sandhills on both sides of the island. On the west coast Te Oneroa‐a‐Tōhē (the Ninety Mile Beach), washed by the Tasman Sea, stretches in a smooth unbroken curve from Scott Point in the north to Ahipara in the south ‐ a distance of some 75 miles (120 kms). The three main iwi (tribes) of the Far North are Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupōuri and Te Rarawa. Ngāti Kuri and Te Aupōuri live near the tip of New Zealand, from Te Rerenga Wairua(Cape Reinga - the leaping place of the spirits) and in the wind‐beaten country around Te Kao; Te Rarawa at Ahipara.
The story of Te Houtaewa is part of the history of these tribes, and took place about 1830. In the Far North Te Houtaewa is a legendary figure, especially renowned for his exceptional health and endurance, for his speed of running, and his tenacity as an athlete.
The legend goes that Te Houtaewa, who, after being asked by his mother to fetch Kumara from the local gardens in Te Kao for a hangi, instead, ran the great distance of Te Oneroa‐a‐Tōhē to Ahipara, filling his Kumara baskets at the foothills of Whangatauatia. This angered the local Te Rarawa people who gave chase to take back their Kumara, but Te Houtaewa outwitted his foe on every occasion, disabling two of those in pursuit in the process. After this, no one was so foolhardy as to challenge him further, although his raiding of the Kumara pit was the reason for significant mamae(pain) experienced by Te Rarawa and fuelled the whawhai(conflict) between the tribes.Te Houtaewa returned to his waiting mother with Kumara in two kete(baskets), and such was his strength that his journey home took only a little longer than it took to prepare the hangi.
Over the years there was much whawhai but payback eventually occurred and Te Houtaewa was shot and killed at Houhora Harbour by Te Kiroa (Te Rarawa) and his legs were taken as a means of capturing his mana(prestige) ‐ his agility, swiftness and prowess as a runner.
The main purpose for establishing Te Houtaewa Challenge in 2003 was to honour the legend of Te Houtaewa and symbolically return the Kumara to Te Rarawa as a means of healing old wounds; addressing the mamae; and restoring the peace between the two tribes. The physical act of returning the Kumara was introduced into the race by the ultra‐marathon runners carrying a Kumara from Waka‐te‐haua (Maunganui Bluff) back to the Paripari Domain Ahipara (finish line) at the foot of Whangatauatia. This was given the blessing of the kaumatua (elders) and so this symbolic gesture is celebrated every year.
Over the years the 60km ultra-‐marathon has been extended to include an ultra-‐marathon relay (5 team running 12 km each), a 42km marathon, a 21km half marathon, and a 6 km charity walk where each year the proceeds are given to a different far north community organisation. To further enhance the challenge and all things Te Ao Māori(the Māori World), we provide Rongoā Māori Medicine (traditional māori medicine) and Romiromi and Mirimiri (holistic māori massage) and an event that brings the whole community together.
The present Te Houtaewa Challenge is a way of coming face to face with the current challenges facing Māori and serves to promote health and wellbeing through weaving the past with the present through story and Rongoā Māori. Achieving health and fitness by celebrating Māori athleticism highlights the importance of the sea and the beach through sharing kai moana(seafood)and the paramount significance of whakawhanaungatanga (the process of establishing relationships and shared experiences which provides a sense of belonging, acceptance and peace).
And each year, the journey begins again and the legend of Te Houtaewa and all that he brings, continues to live on.
To be correct, true, upright, just, fair, accurate, appropriate, lawful, valid.
To be correct, true, upright, just, fair, accurate, appropriate, lawful, valid.
To be true, valid, honest, genuine, sincere.
AROHALoving, affectionate, caring, compassionate, kindly, sympathetic, benevolent.
NGARU NUI, NGARU ROA, NGARU PAEWHENUAThese are the three waves that brought the waka Ngatokimatawhaorua to Aotearoa and Hokianga.
It represents those that journey far and wide to come to our shores and participate in the event.
The waves affirm the connection through Whakapapa back to Hawaiki nui, ki Hawaiki roa, ki Hawaiki pāmamao.
Within the 3 waves the koru patterns portray the three values and feelings of:
Essential force, excitement, thrill, power, charm, personal magnetism - psychic force as opposed to spiritual power (mana).
A response of awe in reaction to ihi.
Excitement, thrill, exhilaration, fervour, verve, gusto, zeal, zest, passion, energy, sparkle, liveliness, pizazz.
"The tide comes in, the tide goes out, where did the footprints go? No matter, their spirit still remains."
HEALTH & WELLBEING
TE HOUTAEWA CHALLENGE
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Ko tōu reo, ko tōku reo, te tuakiri tangata.Tīhei uriuri, tīhei nakonako!Ko Kurahaupo te wakaKo Pohurihanga te rangatiraKo Maungapiko te maungaKo Parengarenga te moanaKo Waiora te maraeKo Ngāti Kuri te iwiHe uri tēnei nō ngā iwi o Muriwhenua. Kua roa nei te wā e noho ana ki te rohe o Ngāti kahuwhakaako tamariki ana.
The 42 km Marathon Challenge begins at North Hukatere beach and follows the ultramarathon route to Ahipara. Our marathon challenge is the perfect opportunity for you to push yourself as fast as you can across a long distance while feeling the soft sand underfoot as you make your way to the finish line!
What makes this run unique is that you will be following in the footsteps of the Legend Te Houtaewa. As a participant, you will receive a kumara (sweet potato) at the starting line and you will be challenged with the task of returning the kumara back to Paripari Domain.
Transport to the start line is included for all Individual Marathon Runners Event
Confirmation of transport is essential and we recommend you book early to avoid disappointment
A bus will be departing the Paripari Domain and Marae in Ahipara and Kaitaia old Pak n Sav. Please check with your race event timetable.
The bus to the start line will depart at the Kaitaia old Pak n Sav and will take you to the start line.
There will be baggage bins provided at the start line for the runner’s personal belongings, and personal belongings will be available for collection at THMCT Container HQ’s at Paripari Domain, Ahipara.
This unique challenge is the opportunity to come together as a team and support one another as you each take on a leg of the ultra-marathon course. This special relay is the moment for everyone and anyone to get their toes wet in the sport of running.
What makes this relay unique is that you each will be following in the footsteps of the Legend Te Houtaewa. The first member of the team will receive a kumara (sweet potato) at the starting line and it will be your team’s task to pass the kumara to each member and return the kumara back to Paripari Domain.
Your team must supply their own 4×4 vehicle with a designated team driver who will be there to support the running members by driving along the beach to the start point of each leg.
Half the distance with all the glory, the half marathon is a perfect opportunity for anyone to get their toes wet in unique running experience. Beginning at North Waipapakauri ramp this race is a relaxed challenge to the festival finish in Ahipara.
What makes this run unique is that you will be following in the footsteps of the Legend Te Houtaewa. As a participant you will receive a kumara (sweet potato) at the starting line and you will be challenged with the task of returning the kumara back to Paripari Domain.
The youth version of a Marathon Team Relay. Exactly the same in terms of requirements to participate but sponsored by Te Houtaewa Maori Charitable Trust to ensure that this korero will be here for Mokopuna of tomorrow.
This is created by Tamariki for Tamariki, following in the footsteps of our Tupuna and the Wero “Te Houtaewa Challenge”, known for his incredible athletic abilities.
In teams of six, you will form a relay team where you will all participate in the 42km Marathon course, each completing 6km of the journey towards the finish line of Paripari Domain, Ahipara. At the end of the relay, you will be welcomed into a festival where your whanau and friends are encouraged to come along to help cheer you and your team in.
Anyone that’s a taitamariki/youth!
Taitamariki/youth is any persons between the ages of 13 – 22 years old, so anyone aged between 13 – 22 years old can enter and be part of the Taitamariki Ultra Team Relay Challenge.
We want this challenge to be inclusive to all youth in our community so we encourage anyone in this age range to come together, form a team and take part in the challenge!
We want to break down the financial barriers for our taitamariki (youth) in order for them to be a part of this challenge! Register a team and together decide, what and how you will contribute.
KOHA – (Maori custom of a gift, present, offering, donation, or contribution) toward this event.
It is up to you to form a team! You can team up together with classmates from school, like a sports team, as a church group, as a whanau or just as a unique team!
Some things to know
The challenge takes place on Saturday 19 March 2022 at 8:15 AM.
The challenge begins at Hukatere on Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē (Ninety Mile Beach) and finishes at PariPari Domain, 163 Foreshore Road, Ahipara. 19
As this race takes place on Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē (Ninety Mile Beach), we recommend 4×4 wheel drive vehicle in order to handle the soft terrain.
The relay is a 6-person team with each team member running a distance of 6km. The changeover will be in accordance with standard rules whereby athletes must touch hands in the designated transition area.
In case of injury or illness during the race which forces the athlete to abandon the competition, the next stage runner may start immediately after an official has verified the situation.
All participants are expected to carry a kumara and every team relay member to collect and carry the additional kumara at each designated station. Teams must All cross over the finish line together. All participants are to “return a kumara” to the Village Pātaka.