Iwi of Origin weekend about whānau, not winning

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Over four-thousand keen competitors descended on Bruce Pullman Park in Papakura for the annual Iwi of Origin games. Run by He Oranga Poutama & Auckland Council, founder Wiremu Mato says it's not just about winning.

"Take up the challenge", that's the slogan of Iwi of Origin 2017.

Event organiser Wiremu Mato (Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) from He Oranga Poutama says, “We are lucky for the amount of youth, children, babies who have come along to take part.”

125 teams battled it out in Touch, Netball, League, Ki o Rahi, basketball and other fun interactive games.

“The kids can also experience these things that celebrate them.”

Co-ordinator Wiremu Mato says he modelled the competition on other inter-tribal games.

In 2006 I went back home to Ngāti Porou, there I saw our event called Pā Wards and I thought how can I take this to Auckland. Eventually, this was the result.

He whakataetae e kopaki nei i te katoa mai i ngā tamariki ki ngā kuia koroua.

An all age event catering to children to the elderly, Mato says it's about family.

“Sports is just the means, the main thing is the bonding, the joy, the laughter and smiles.”

Mato says it's about quality, not quantity.

“It's a waste of time trying to increase numbers if the quality isn't equally improved so we're focusing on quality.”

Without compromising on quality, Mato hopes to include more sports next year.