Ngā Hau e Whā tournament unites Māori across the ditch

Every year the Māori community in NSW comes out in force to support and participate in the annual Māori rugby league tournament "Ngā Hau e Whā".

This year was no different with the four competing teams from Norths, Souths Easts and Wests.

While league is the catalyst to get everybody out, kinship is the biggest pull.

A traditional powhiri opened the tournament with teams converging from throughout the region at the park.

Following the formalities it was down to business for the players and their teams, the favourites and title holders Norths were first up against Souths

Despite scoring first South weren't strong enough to extinguish the Norths, who scored five tries to Souths one.

For the older players, the tournament provides another chance to play league again but for many of the younger players it's a stepping stone.

But the footy isn't the only entertainment for the crowds.

Organiser Tom Mitchel says the number of stalls at the event continue to grow and the variety of kai available is enjoyed by all.

Evelyn Toki of Ngāti Porou also believes the tournament is a perfect excuse for whānau Māori to come together and celebrate their talent and who they are as a people.

It's clear, not only league but kinship is in good stead within the Māori community across the ditch.