14 October 2017
Wharekawa Marae Whakatiwai Kaiaua
The Wharekawa Marae Rā Hākinakina (Sports Day) was held on Saturday, 14 October 2017 at two locations - Wharekawa Marae and Kaiaua School. A pōwhiri was undertaken at the marae before Hauraki District Council Mayor John Tredgida formally opened the proceedings.
The event was supported by up to 300 people; including 8 touch football teams and a good number of Pétanque teams. Stalls that engaged with the patrons were;
· A portable Star Dome of which regular Wānanga were held throughout the day that projected the stars on to the Star Dome ceiling. Dr Pauline Harris from Victoria University and the Society of Maori Astronomy, Research and Traditions (SMART) providing technical information.
· An Auckland Transport educational initiative which provided information and path ways to obtaining the appropriate driver’s licences required for employment.
· A mirimiri / romiromi (massage and chiropractic) exponent who was very busy manipulating and providing relief to many patrons with ailments and various complaints.
· Natural Rongoa / native herbal remedies
· Auckland Council Kauri Dieback and Natural Bush Restorative strategies display
· The Wharekawa Kōhanga Reo
· A healthy eating information display from Raukura Hauora o Tainui that provided details of food composition including the long term health benefits of making appropriate food choices
The Sports events were held at the Kaiaua School. Two fields marked out on the Kaiaua School Rugby field were the stage where the Touch Football teams would do battle. The Touch Football teams consisted of:
Mokopuna Hokinga Mai
Okarea Marae (team 1)
Okarea Marae (team 2)
The tournament consisted of 13 games played in excellent spirit. There were many very good individual and team performances on display and great sportsmanship was shown by all of the players. The finalists were Okarea Marae and #Paoa#Horowhenua who both gave a fitting display of finals touch football. The final score being three all, with Okarea Marae scoring twice in the last 3 minutes to snatch the draw. The tournament rules dictated however, that in the event of a draw, the winner will be the team who scored first in the match. Okarea Marae taking out the 2017 Wharekawa Marae Trophy (A beautiful carving created by Hemi Thompson called Tō Ka Piki) as the Touch Football Winners. Well done Okarea Marae. #Paoa#Horowhenua also giving a good account of their ability coming second. Special mention too, of the many whānau who participated in teams such as the Tūpuhi whānau, Andrews Whānau, Rāwiri whānau, Nepe whānau, Tahitahi whānau and the Thompson whānau.
The Pétanque competition drew a large group of participants who masqueraded as seemingly normal mild mannered people by day, yet suddenly changing to determined, totally committed and desperate contestants on the toss of the jack. Thankfully, cool headed Jono Clark was on hand to provide some guidance to settle the potentially volatile situations. The eventual conquering pairing of Uncle Martin Thompson and Aunty Amy Thompson with over 150 years’ experience between them proved too much for the would be challengers. Cherie Tahitahi and Yvonne Kohi also combined expertly to take out second place.
The prize giving was held at the Marae amid avid conversation and tall tales of superhuman performances during the sports events. Johannah Rāwiri and Hauāuru Rāwiri topping off the wonderful event engaging with the whole audience to participate in learning a waiata ā ringa that embellishes the virtues of the two eponymous ancestors of Wharekawa; Paoa and Whanaunga.
The Wharekawa Marae Rā Hākinakina was a fantastic day enjoyed by whānau of all ages. The general consensus was that kōtahitanga (unity) and whānaungatanga (relationships) were the greatest outcomes of the event.
The final act of the day was the karakia whakamutunga lead by Hauāuru Rawiri in which the wider whānau participated. A fitting closure to a very successful event.
(On behalf of the Wharekawa Marae Committee and Trust)