Mum, son place at Heiva Tu’aro Maohi 2019

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Mother and son duo from Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāti Hē and Ngāti Awa have placed in the first Heiva Tu’aro Maohi event in Paoafi, Tahiti.

Davina Playle won the Masters Women's division of the 15kg Fruit Carrier race, while her 18-year-old son Marino came second in the Junior Men’s 20kg division

The 36-year-old mother says competing with her son in the event is about whakapapa connections.

“Making the connection from Aotearoa, Te Arawa waka to Tahiti."

Masters and Open Women’s winners Davina Payle and Hana Tapiata (black t-shirts) - Photo / File

Marino says competing alongside his mum is normal.

“Mum and I always compete in the same sports back home, like in touch.”

Aotearoa teams have competed at Heiva Tu’aro Maohi at the invitation of organisers since 2015.  This year four newbies are competing including the family-duo.

Competitors from Hawaii, Cook Islands, Tahiti and French Polynesia are competing in five more traditional events, such as wrestling, rock lifting, copra, javelin throwing and coconut tree climbing on Saturday and Sunday (Tahitian time).

Team Aotearoa competitor Hana Tapiata (Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou) won the Open Women’s fruit carrier event.