Biggest Whanau Sports Event in Te Arawa

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By Laura Wharepapa |Iwi and Hapu get ready to gather for what is described as the biggest whanau sports event in Te Arawa.

The Te Arawa games hosted by Te Papatakaro o Te Arawa and implemented by the Te Arawa Pride Project, will see over 13 hapu participate in competitive and non competitive games ranging from touch rugby through to badminton.

The three day event held from 23rd-25th of March 2012 will include three sections, sports, entertainment and youth expo.Te Arawa Pride co-ordinator Lisa Mansell said the purpose of the Te Arawa games is about bringing Te Arawa people together in a safe, positive and encouraging environment that includes Koeke (elderly) through to pepi (babies).

“Its also about getting all whanau involved in activity using sports as a positive medium, she said.

This event is probably the biggest event in Te Arawa where we see both our koeke through to our pepi participate together.

The once named Te Papatakaro games were revamped in 2011 after the games went dormant for nearly 10years and although the reasons are uncertain by current organisers, they (the organisers), couldnt be more pleased that the games are back .

Lisa said Te Papatakaro o Te Arawa and Te Arawa prides project had received many requests from people within Te Arawa, wanting to know when and if the games were ever going to happen again at a local level.

There was definately a need to bring back the games and with the help of Iwi delegates we were able to do that, she said.

It is also hoped that in the near future every hapu will take control of their own sport days, like how it was done when the marae pa wars were set up in the 1990s.Many people who whakapapa to Te Arawa travel from around Aotearoa to participate in the games. It has been known for people to travel from Australia to Rotorua to participate and re-connect with their whanau as well.

Its awesome when we hear of whanau who live outside Rotorua come home for the games, Lisa said.

This is definitely one way to help whanau re-connect with their whanau and whakapapa,

The event is a smokefree, drug and alcohol free and everyone is welcome.

The 13 hapu who are currently registered for the games are:

  • Tuhourangi
  • Hinemihi
  • Houmaitawhiti
  • Te Hikuwai
  • Rongomai
  • Uenukukopako
  • Rangitihi
  • Kearoa
  • Makino
  • Rangiwewehi
  • Whakaue
  • Te Roro o Te Rangi
  • Waitaha
Te Arawa Games Tee Shirts are now on SALE – $12.00 per shirt. Tee Shirts Sizes range from S-XXL, 3 Colours RED, GREEN & BLACK. You can purchase your tee shirt at Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa – 38 koutu Road or phone 348 3377.

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