TE HOUTAEWA CHALLENGE
Te Houtaewa Maori Charitable Trust welcome you all to Te Hiku O Te Ika (The Tail of the Fish) to be part of the Te Houtaewa Challenge.
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 (120kms). The iwi (tribes) of Muriwhenau, in the Far North Region are Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupōuri, Ngai Takato, Ngati Kahu, Dalmatian and Pakeha. 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.
Te Houtaewa was a descendant of the Te Aupōuri chief Te Ika Nui, and is legendary renowned for his endurance, for his speed of running, and his tenacity as an athlete. Te Houtaewa pūrākau, a narrative of his run on Te Oneroa a Tohe beach, from Te Kao to Ahipara which took place about 1830, here in Muriwhenua, the Far North of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Our kaupapa seeks to raise awareness and capture the unique stories of our local history, significant landmarks, beautiful people and sacred places. Our culture and heritage are connected through Te Ao Māori, a Māori world view that embraces Te Whare Tapa Whā. This concept acknowledges the importance of balance through taha wairua, taha hinengaro, taha tinana and taha whānau.
We connect to whānau, hapū and iwi in a variety of activities, events and wānanga to provide continued opportunities to learn, grow and develop, building capacity, capability and tino rangatiratanga. All these aspects enable our kaupapa to nurture and celebrate our traditional narratives and past times to ensure these taonga are preserved for our future generations and succession of our collective role as kaitiaki.
In honour of Te Houtaewa, we present our wero* to you. Taking place on Saturday 20 March 2021 for our 28th year, we challenge you to relive the journey of Te Houtaewa and participate in Te Houtaewa Challenge 2020.
The Te Houtaewa Challenge 2020 will offer a 62km Ultra Marathon, 42km Marathon, 21km Half Marathon, Ultra Team Relay & Team up Taitamariki Relay.
What makes this run special is that you will be following in the footsteps of the Legend Te Houtaewa. As a participant you will receive a kumara** at the starting line and you will be challenged with the task of returning the kumara back to Ahipara.
The physical act of returning the kumara holds huge significance and was introduced into the race by the ultra-marathon runner’s carrying a kumara from Te Ari (Maunganui Bluff) back to the Paripari Domain Ahipara (finish line) at the foot of Whangatauatia. This was given the blessing of the kaumatua***, and so this symbolic gesture is celebrated every year.