Ngāi Takoto strengthen ties through festival

By Dean Nathan

Sport and celebration are the focus of this year's Ngāi Takoto Festival held in the Far North over the weekend.

It's a day when all entities of the tribes come together to celebrate Ngāi Takoto identity.

Ngāi Takoto descendant Mangu Awarau says “It's a time to celebrate our children and grandchildren while reaffirming our identity as Ngāi Takoto, so that the younger generation know who they are.”

Whānau have come from near and far, including young Kawana Marsden, who has been selected to trial for the Warriors U21 squad.

“I never thought these masters could run aye, still got it in them, they just get straight back up and back into the game. That's toughness right there, that’s respect for them,” says Kawana Marsden.

“It's a great time to get to know the respective families from all over the district and seeing the new faces is great” says Maraea Marsden.

The main focus of the festival is about rebuilding Ngāi Takoto identity, the tribe also celebrates the return of the Ngatu lakebed and some surrounding lands.