Te Mahepohepotanga unites Māori schools in Auckland

By Hone-Haunui Rapana

Unity is the reason behind the annual Te Mahepohepotanga sport tournament held in Māngere, a competition for all Māori schools in Auckland from wharekura to mainstream.

Reaching out to unite as one region. 

The competition is in its 7th year, with seven schools participating, and for the first time it is being hosted by last year's overall winners, Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae.

The idea of unity was strengthened as Te Wharekura o Māngere, Te Wharekura o Puau Te Moananui a Kiwa and Te Wharekura o Manurewa joined together as Ngā Wharekura Māori.

Teacher Te Wā Mane says, "We wanted to support the event so that it doesn't die out," while Richard Ngapera of TeWharekura o Puau Te Moana Nui a Kiwa says, "We were against each other last year, but outside of the game we're a family."

The push for the use of te reo is the next goal.  According to teacher, Hammond Matua, "The seed has been planted, this generation or the next will work at promoting our language."

James Cook High School are the current netball champions and Ngā Tapuwae are the rugby league title holders.