MP Kelvin Davis has set off on the first of seven marathons in and around Kaitaia in seven days - despite never having walked a marathon before.
It's part of another appeal for an end to sexual violence.
The Te Tai Tokerau and five supporters left from Awanui School, just north of Kaitaia in the Far North this morning for the Seven7 hikoi.
The group will walk from the school into Kaitaia, then complete three laps of the town (Grigg Street, Bonnetts Road, Pukepoto Road, Redan Road, Commerce Street, Allen Bell Drive, Donald Lane, North Road) before returning to the school every day until and including Saturday.
The distance is 2km short of a marathon at 40km.
Davis is also inviting anyone who wants to join him, whether they walk, skateboard, cycle or scoot.
Last year Davis led a hikoi from the bottom of his electorate to the top in 16 days, also to encourage people to speak up about sexual violence.
But this time he is looking to gain a higher profile by sticking to the streets of his home town.
Similar efforts are being made in Kaikohe and in Orakei (by Ngati Whatua).
Davis hopes that next year there will be five groups.
Sexual violence, he added, was a scourge that had to be addressed on an on-going basis, as opposed to short-lived expressions of outrage in response to specific incidents.
"What we're doing is keeping it out there in a positive way," Davis said, while his advice to his fellow marathoners was not to overdo it, and to have fun.
Davis has never walked a full marathon before. He has walked two half-marathons - the last one 10 years ago.
But Mr Davis said before he started his journey that the pain he will endure on his walk is nothing compared with that of a victim of sexual violence.
"My blisters will heal but the emotional and harm that's caused to people who survive sexual violence, it never goes."
Davis, who said he had not trained for the seven-day walk, said he hoped it would encourage people to speak out about sexual violence as "silence is the greatest enabler".
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