Sports challenge for Peeni Wynyard descendants

By Raniera Harrison
  • Northland

Family bonds were strengthened today as many flocked to Kawakawa bay for one of the communities biggest occasions, the Peeni Wynyard Memorial Challenge. It's a competition that links descendants of Mōtatau and Waikare marae.

It may not be the Rugby World Cup, but it’s the biggest event for these two Northland communities.

“We haven’t seen each other for years sometimes or months but on the day we play as a team” says Peter Prime from Ngā Tarawa

One day every year, Waikare Marae and Mōtatau Marae go head to head in a clash which sees relation against relation, all in the name of honouring one of their many eponymous ancestors, Peeni Wynyard.

Ngāti Te Tarawa descendant Henare Tautari is familiar with the term relation against relation “You know when you see your cousin up against you, you’ll do anything to win.”

Bunny Croft from Ngāti Hine says traditions are still alive “This is how it was in the days of old, our relations were there, their children, our relations, regardless whatever marae we go on to.”

It’s estimated that nearly 300 people attended this event.

“We know these games sometimes get a bit heated on the field, on the court, but on the side family bonds remain supreme’ says Pita Tipene from Ngāti Hine

Mōtatau won the main rugby match of the day 32-10 and are now focused on next month’s challenge against Tau Henare’s marae Pipiwai. 

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