With nearly half of the Ngāti Porou population living beyond the traditional tribal territory on the East Coast, Ngāti Porou Pā Wars is helping tribal members reconnect back to their marae.
Les Hoerara of Te Whānau a Tuwhakairiora says, “I'm happy to see the number of kids who are here and the many marae.”
The event sees various Ngāti Porou marae members engage through competition.
Te Ao Leach of Mangatuna ki Hinemaurea says, “Connecting to my family with the aim to win, we didn't take it out this year but oh well, the main thing is building relationships.
Pā Wars began in 1990 and continues to grow, with over 21 marae being represented at the games in Ruatōria this year bringing more than 1,000 people together.
Kararaina Ngatai-Melbourne of Te Whānau a Hinreupe says, “That's how this day goes, we look after it and those families who live beyond the tribal boundaries who are yet to come back to their true home can do so.”
Competing for the first time, Haimona Te Nahu of Te Whānau a Hunaara says, “We must come back for our ancestral lineage to live, for the fires of occupation to burn on, for the dishes to be washed and all those responsibilities to be upheld.”
Te Whānau a Hinerupe have been crowned champions at Pā Wars for the third year running.
Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne of Te Whānau a Hinerupe says, We're ecstatic for the family and the sub-tribe, we played for our ancestors, for our ancestor Hinerupe on this beautiful day.”