Ngāti Maniapoto celebrated their iwi anniversary where 22 marae competed in a multisport event in the small settlement of Te Kūiti.
Layelin Stewart from Oparure Marae says, “This event has been running for the past 22 years and it’s about our relations returning back to their home grounds in Ngāti Maniapoto.”
More than 500 keen competitors gave their iwi its longest sporting event. Named Te Kawau Mārō o Maniapoto it includes hunting and fishing, kiorahi, bowling, volleyball, touch, basketball, debates and entertainment. Each win counts.
Event co-organiser Erina Wehi-Barton says, “I like to think our Te Kuiti Pā or Waipātōtō win but in these games, it’s usually Te Ahoroa Marae taking out the main prizes.”
The event is also built on the foundations of te reo Māori and its customs.
Event MC Te Miri Takerei from Te Korapatu Marae says, “Our focus is to ensure that we are also able to hear and speak in Māori on our marae throughout our tribe and also taking that aspect into our homes as well.”
The biennial event will continue here at Papa Rautau grounds.