Covid casualty: National Māori basketball champs axed amid Omicron

By Will Trafford

Organisers of the 2022 National Māori Basketball tournament due to kick off in Rotorua today say the event’s been axed; a casualty of the Covid-19 Omicron spread across the motu.

Tournament director Sue Pene who also serves as development coordinator for the Rotorua Basketball Association, says the government’s move to the red traffic light setting left Poitūkohu Māori Aotearoa (Māori Basketball Aotearoa) with no choice.

“We were hoping to have a few more weeks before Omicron started spreading in the community, but sadly it wasn’t meant to be.”

Pene says NZ Maori Basketball Aotearoa hopes to replace the week-long tournament with a host of regional tournaments when the country moves back to the orange traffic light setting.