To mark the New Zealand land wars the Ngati Hine runanga will move away from traditional commemorations and remember the conflicts with a multisport challenge.

It was an idea which came about as Waihoroi Shortland, Te Runanga o Ngati Hine chairman, lay in hospital "staring at the ceiling" while recovering from a mild stroke.

"I thought why not, why not challenge our people to get around the battle sites and do something more to remember? I thought it should be something bigger than a Maori thing because if we do that it's more than likely only Maori would turn up."

The result is a 90.5km multisport challenge, or 'He Omanga Hohou Rongo' (a run for peace), called the E Rima Challenge which will take place on October 28 - the date the Crown set aside to commemorate the conflicts between Maori and the Crown during the 19th century.


The E Rima Challenge is a five-part challenge focusing particularly on commemorating the Northern conflict which took place in 1845 and 1846.

It will involve cycling, swimming, running, and kayaking and canoeing around and past sites which were significant in those conflicts.

Planning is still in early stage but so far the plan is for the challenge to start in the middle of Russell with a 13km run up and around the flagstaff, out to the site of the first Parliament at Okiato - opposite Opua.

There will then be a 1.5km swim to Opua.

From Opua participants will run around to the marina where they will grab their canoes and complete a 10km paddle up the Taumarere River into Taumarere.

The 50km bike ride will begin somewhere by the United Clubrooms, up State Highway 1 to Te Ahuahu where Hone Heke's pa was.

From there the cycle will continue around Te Pua Rd towards Kaikohe, through Ohaeawai and back down to Kawakawa.

Mr Shortland said the final part of the challenge would involve a 16km run.


Mr Shortland said part of the reason a sport challenge was selected to commemorate the land wars was because he was thinking about his health.

"I'm mindful that Ngati Hine have gone through a loss of people we've come to depend on, like Erima Henare. We've lost a lot of leaders. I'm not feeling precious about my self but I still owe Ngati Hine a heck of a lot."

Mr Shortland said while the name of the challenge - E Rima - related to the five parts, Erima Henare would be in the hearts of Ngati Hine.

There will be two sections to the actual event - an elite section for men and women who want to contest all five stages, and a relay section for community teams, schools, clubs and sports people.

Mr Shortland said he was hoping to get on a bike in the next couple of weeks so he can cycle part of the challenge course on the day.