Mau Rākau grows on the East Coast

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Te Whare Tū Tauā o Tūhorouta has started up in Gisborne, making it the fourth branch established on the East Coast, with future plans to expand mau rākau even further in the region.

"From what I've seen the youth are really drawn to this type of activity, it's most probably a little too late for my generation but in saying that the youth of today really emanate the strength and values of their ancestors before them when it comes to learning one to one combat," says Earle Karini, Pou Waru.

"It allows the language to live on and it also brings out our inner warrior something that comes from our hearts," says Costa Blackman, student of mau rākau.

The discipline helps to teach the youth of today how to be a warrior both on the battlefield and at school, home and in life.

"It's really good because this my whole world and we all are passionate about it because it connects us spiritually," says Kahukuranui Karini, student of mau rākau.

Over the last five years or so Karini has been instrumental in establishing other branches on the East Coast.

"There are three other branches that have been established in Uawa / Tokomaru ko Te Whare Tū Tauā o Kahukuranui, that they are the oldest here on the East Cost of this particular style, there is also Te Waiū o Ngāti Porou and Te Whare Tū Tauā o te Wiwi Naati hoki tēnā, " say Karini.

He says Kahukuranui in Uawa has grown to more than 150 that have gone through the ranks and he'd like to see it grow in schools, kohanga reo and throughout the community.