Ngāti Porou Pā Wars attracts the multitudes

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Multitudes of Ngāti Porou are taking part in Pā Wars at Ngata College in Ruatoria. Twenty-one marae have gathered together, some of them combining to put on a stronger coalition.

From elders to young children, there are approximately 2,000 people giving their all in the various sports.

Selwyn Parata from Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngāti Porou says, "The overarching theme is health, of body, mind and spirit, I'm talking about the longevity of our lineage."

Among the sports this year are kī-o-rahi, tennis, basketball, however, Ngāti Porou are a peculiar breed and known for being cowboys so there are also horse sports.

There's karaoke to entertain the people as well as games like trivial pursuits and chess for the more senior folk.

Te Whānau a Hinerupe of Ngāti Porou have always been strong competitors striving to win, to lead, to be a role model for the iwi and the hapū. 

Touch is always the most popular sport but netball is a close second with the standard ever-increasing for both.

The day is about coming together and building relationships but when the games start it's all about competition.