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'Kahungunu Stands with Māori Rugby’

MEDIA RELEASE - 18 June 2010

 

New Zealand Māori versus England

Wednesday, June 23, 2010.

 

‘Kahungunu Stands with Māori Rugby’

 Ngāti Kahungunu will have a major role in hosting the New Zealand Māori and England rugby teams whose international appearance at Napier’s McLean Park next week will start with a mass haka performed by 500 pupils from high schools from Wairoa to Wairarapa.

Hawke’s Bay man and former captain of both the New Zealand Māori and New Zealand All Blacks, Taine Randell, will stand in the centre of the park to receive the haka before the two teams run on to the park.

Randell, of Ngāti Kahungunu descent, will be the ball carrier for the game and has been selected by organisers to receive the haka in recognition of his efforts in leading both the Māori and New Zealand All Black teams.

The kapa haka group will take up a position on the sideline in front of the Graeme Lowe Stand at McLean Park when they will perform the famous Ngāti Kahungunu haka, Tika Tonu. They will be looking across to Randell and the Harris Stand behind him where the players will emerge to start the game.

The pupils will walk out on to the sideline in groups of six, representing each area of Ngāti Kahungunu: Wairoa; Te Whanganui A Orotu (Napier); Heretaunga; Tamatea (Central Hawke’s Bay); Tamaki Nui A Rua (Dannevirke/Tararua) and Wairarapa.

They will stand in three lines, each comprising 132 pupils. The group has been practising it’s McLean Park debut for the past couple of months, under the guidance of kapa haka tutor and event choreographer J.B Smith.

The haka, Randell’s appearance and other entertainment at the match will form part of the celebrations marking 100 years of Māori rugby which in Hawke’s Bay has been organised by Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi.

There are eight players of Ngāti Kahungunu descent in the 2010 Māori team, the most of any iwi. They are Colin Bourke (Bay of Plenty); Romana Graham (Waikato); Jarrad Hoeata (Taranaki); Karl Lowe (Hawke’s Bay); Clint Newland (Hawke’s Bay); Issac Ross (Canterbury), Aaron Smith (Manawatu) and Hayden Triggs (Otago).

The Māori team’s match against England on June 23 will be the final in a series of three tests marking the centenary, hosted by the New Zealand Rugby Union and supported by sponsors Aotearoa Fisheries Limited and Sealord Group Limited.

And there will be 200 former Māori All Blacks in the stands at McLean Park watching the game kick off at 7.35pm.

 

The Māori team is due to arrive in Hawke’s Bay on Saturday, June 19, and will be welcomed at Pukemokimoki Marae in Maraenui, Napier.

 

On Sunday, the team is planning  a hangi and a group of 20 kaumatua (elders) and 20 rangatahi (youth), leaders from various schools, have been selected to have dinner with the Māori rugby heroes.

 

The public will also have a chance to see the team train at Tareha Park in Taradale on Monday, June 21, at 10am and then again 3pm.

Entertainment on game day will start with a special lunch function for the 200 former Māori All Blacks and other guests inside the Rodney Green Event Centre.

Hawke’s Bay opera singer and music teacher William Winitana will be the MC while the Kahurangi Dance Theatre and Mangateretere Primary School will welcome the guests. Māori singers Hinewehi Mohi and Susan Rose will also perform.

A Māori kite will be flown at the end of the mass haka just before the game kicks off. Its choreographed flight around the park will be inspired by the symbol on the Māori rugby jersey, “Te Ao Hou, A New Dawn” which was designed for the centenary.

 

The kite performance will end with a fireworks display designed by Te Rangi Huata.

 

The New Zealand and England national anthems will be sung by two Kahungunu people. Charles Ropitini will perform God Save the Queen and Hinewehi Mohi will sing God Of Nations in English and Māori.

During the game the 500 pupils who performed Tika Tonu will also feature on the embankment at McLean Park where they will perform various chants and haka to support the Māori team.

The Napier marching club, BG Hussars, who are current New Zealand champions, will perform at half time.

The match will end with the Māori farewell song, Po Atarau, Now Is The Hour.
ends

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