A good Friday for grassroots Māori rugby

By Kereama Wright

It’s Good Friday for most, but for two Bay of Plenty Māori Rugby clubs, mana is on the line.

Ngāti Awa club, Paroa, are hosting Ngāti Whakaue club, Waikite, as they go head to head for a prestigious piece of Māori rugby hardware known as the Tamarangi Lawson Shield. 

The shield was first put up for competition between Waikite and Paroa in 1984.

Originally it was played for by the B teams as the A grade competition already had many Māori trophy games including the Ratana Rosebowl and the Jack Biddle.

The shield's namesake Tamarangi Lawson, was pivotal in acquiring land shares from his whānau to vest land to the Paroa Rugby Club.

The club is now situated on grounds known as Lawson Park, across from Lawson Farms.

Kick off is set for 2:30pm at Paroa Rugby Club in Whakatane.