Pulse return to Ōtaki to say thank you

By James Perry

Today the national champions returned to Ōtaki with their trophy to say thank you to one of their biggest supporters, Te Wānanga o Raukawa.

Members of the squad spent an hour with the Ōtaki-based wānanga staff to thank them for their support over the past three years before holding a coaching session with some local netball players.

Teenage Goal Attack, Tiana Metuarau (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu) says the team wanted to give back to the community and to the people of Te Wānanga o Raukawa, with the hope of inspiring the next generation of netball stars.

ANZ Premiership winners Pulse at Te Wananga o Raukawa. (Source: file)

Meanwhile, the Pulse haka has gone viral online, almost overshadowing the team's maiden ANZ Championship victory. 

Co-writer of the haka, Tipi Wehipeihana says the team is an example of its words, which have their roots in a saying from the Raukawa region which translates as 'From your heart to mine'. 

The haka is a result of the ongoing relationship between the Māori tertiary organisation and the Central region netball franchise.  It has been three years in the making.

Metuarau says the team practiced the haka after every training session and match day, in addition to singing waiata. 

They have been desperate to perform their haka for the world and victory in the grand final was the right time to do so. 

Wehipeihana says the haka, which repeatedly mentions the word 'manawa', or 'heart' not only reflects the team's name but also mana wahine in their own element.

He says people should not assume that the haka is only for the All Blacks, or exclusive to the football field, wahine should be allowed to display their mana and power using a Māori medium in a sporting context as well.

Having finally got their hands on the ANZ Premiership trophy after losing two consecutive finals, the Pulse are determined to keep celebrating more success with their haka for many years to come.