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Maori Sports Awards Announces 2012 Media Finalists

Panui Papaho / Media Statement
21 Whiringa-A-Rangi / November 2012

Maori Sports Awards Announces 2012 Media Finalists

A sports encyclopedia article on traditional Maori games, a tiny iwi radio station’s promotion of grassroots rugby and television news coverage of a new sporting phenomenon – Tri-Maori – are finalists for the 2012 Maori Sports Media Award of the Year.

Aimed at encouraging more positive and expert reporting on Maori sports, Te Reo o te Para Whakawai – will be presented at the national Maori Sports Awards to be held at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau, Auckland, this Saturday November 24 2012.

A total of 22 Olympians, three Paralympians, 11 world champions and four world champion teams will be honoured at the 22nd awards ceremony. Winners in 10 categories will be announced including Maori sports administrator; umpire/referee; sportsperson with a disability; coach; media; junior sportsman and woman; senior sportsman and woman; and sports team.

The Maori sports media finalists are:

Harko Bown – ‘Sports Around the World: History, Culture and Practice’

Educator Harko Brown joined 250 other global sports experts to produce a comprehensive encyclopedia of sport published earlier this year. Harko – of Kerikeri – was one of a handful of New Zealand sports specialists invited to contribute. His work, ‘Nga Taonga Takaro’, succinctly describes the histories and philosophies of traditional Māori games and at 4,000 words, his article is the largest single author entry for the Oceania section.

Harko is involved with the promotion of traditional Maori games in Aotearoa and overseas, specifically focusing on the development of ki-o-rahi - a traditional Maori ball game. Of Ngati Whatua (Te Uri o Hau) and Raukawa (Ngati Mahana) descent, he is regarded as a world authority on Maori games. He has a Masters in sport and leisure from the University of Waikato.

Radio Ngati Porou – East Coast rugby commentaries and coverage

A tiny iwi radio station has taken grassroots rugby to a worldwide audience. Radio Ngati Porou – based in Ruatoria – broadcast this year’s East Coast club competition games and finals to listeners in the Gisborne and East Coast region as well as to the wider Ngati Porou population living outside the tribal rohe via the internet. Commentaries and coverage were led by a team including the station’s production manager, announcer and East Coast rugby legend, Kahu Waitoa, and sports show host, Ken Eruera.

Radio Ngati Porou used social media to promote the commentaries and games. For the week leading up to and following the final of the Meads Cup, the station had more than 40,000 ‘Naatis’ engaging, commenting or viewing their Facebook postings about the finals and the Ngati Porou East Coast team. The station helped engage, excite and entertain iwi members around the country and the world, with many listening in from Australia, America and even as far afield as Afghanistan, Iceland and Cambodia.

Kereama Wright – Te Kaea, Maori Television

In most sporting minds, Lake Karapiro is associated with rowing. However, an invitation by mana whenua Waikato-Tainui saw Maori whanau from around the country and across the Tasman head to this famous lake for the inaugural Tri-Maori. The brainchild of elite athletes Tama and Ariana Potaka, Tri-Maori is an event aimed at improving and promoting Maori health.

Organisers were expecting around 300 to take part but more than 750 enthusiastic competitors signed up for a 1.5 km swim, a 40 km bike ride, and a 10 km run. There was also a modified race for kaumatua and mokopuna. A reporter for Maori Television’s daily Maori language news bulletin, Te Kaea, 24-year-old Kereama Wright (Te Arawa, Nga Ruahinerangi, Ngati Kahungunu) was on hand to see how they fared, and also to record the birth of what is sure to be another major addition to the Maori sporting stable.

The 2012 Maori Sports Awards will be broadcast live by Tamaki Makaurau iwi radio station Waatea on its Auckland 603 AM frequency, to the iwi radio network and via its website,, from 5.00 pm to 11.00 pm this Saturday November 24. Maori Television will also screen a one-and-a-half hour highlights package – presented by Te Arahi Maipi and Wairangi Koopu – from 8.30 pm that night.

For more information about the awards, go to the website:


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