The plan was to test the waters at the Waka Ama Nationals in Karapiro. You’ve all heard about it no doubt, a whānau event with all ages competing for the ultimate winners’ trophy but none of our small team of four from the Rūnanga had ever been. What an opportunity we thought: go and have a look, do a bit of whanaungatanga, and sell some of our Ngāpuhi merch. Well! Well! Well! Ngāpuhi were in the house!
As with so many things for us at the moment, what was achieved was due to great planning, so a special thanks to our super staffer Taryn Taurima (Pou Arahi Communications) who brought it all together for us. A lot of preparation had been done the weeks before, with the final touches on our way down as we collected a couple of things on our way through Tāmaki.
I just want to acknowledge whānau that there is a new line of kākahu now going out at Waitangi, because I missed the turn off and had to leave them behind. I did offer to drive the hour and a half back to Tāmaki to get them but thankfully Taryn said she could work with it. If you know Taryn you know that’s a big deal. Thanks Taryn! Whānau, you will love the “NATURALS” line when you see them at Waitangi. Sorry for those at the Waka Ama who missed out. If there are any left they’ll be available online after Waitangi.
And so many brown faces; bodies of all shapes and sizes. The first day we arrived there were adults walking with deliberate speed in their steps, up and down the rise to the water. The second day, after they’d given their all in the heats, there was a little less speed in the steps and a few stooped bodies – it’s all in the abs apparently. The third day, they were spent. With at least two races each day they had absolutely given their all. We didn’t mind though, as we were still able to make them smile when we provided them options in the colours they wanted or the sizes that would fit their Mum’s and made sure they were registered, receiving EMara, and aware that scholarships are open until the end of March.
We’re looking forward to including Waka Ama Nationals in our events season planning from now on, but we’ll have to see what COVID-19 does. Bit of a downer that one, so remember to use the contract tracing app; we did.
Now, some inside information about our kākahu that’s not a secret exactly but it’s also not something we’ve shared widely.
Hope to see you at Waitangi. We’ll be at the lower marae on Friday 5th February, and then up at the main area on Saturday 6th. Come and have a kōrero, and check out those newly arrived “NATURALS.”
And lastly, just a reminder that it’s important to keep in touch with us. Check you’re registered and on the mailing list for our E Mara pānui. We’ll send updates straight to your email. Otherwise, keep in touch with your Takiwā to stay informed about iwi issues.
But before I go, here are a couple of links: Waka Ama Nationals – Te Tai Tokerau personalities
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