More than 1200 competitors from Pōtikirua to Te Toka-ā-Taiau arrived in Te Araroa yesterday, to partake in the annual Ngāti Porou Pā Wars. This is the second consecutive time the competition has been held in Te Araroa, and despite the rain, the competition was a success, with Hinerupe Marae being crowned the overall winners.
Marae from around the East Coast converged on Te Araroa to compete in the Ngāti Porou Pā Wars.
Competitor Moerangi Tetāpuhi says, “This is a sports competition between Ngāti Porou, different competitions for people, and the main thing the coming together as a tribe.”
The event started with the tradition parade of the marae, with some having more members than others.
“There are around 1000 people here that are descendants of Porourangi, we have to thank those people that came even in the rain.”
Hinerupe Marae from the host town Te Araroa had the most people, who were the overall winners this year.
"Every year the whānau of Tuwhakairiora from Hinemaurea Marae ki Wharekahika, the Hine Rupe whānau from Hine Rupe Marae would often meet and compete against hapu from Matakawa and so they made their presence felt at the mouth of Rerekohu."
All the favourite sports were there, from netball to athletics. To chess, touch, and karaoke.
“We're a tough iwi, the rain doesn't scare us, it's only rain, and you only get wet in the rain.”
And some new sports, rugby sevens, table dressing and parakore wearable arts.
“It's not just sporting activities, but preparing the tables and there's quite a lot of events for the elderly and those sorts of activities are great to get our elders involved in like setting the tables, fishing, simple activities they're able to do and there are the younger groups and it's great to see our elders taking part in these sporting activities.”
The main thing is that all marae who have gathered are all living by the saying: to come together as one.