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Dunedin iwi prepare for battle

8 November 2005

Dunedin iwi prepare for battle

Iwi from around Dunedin will gather this Friday and Saturday for an event called Return of the Rangatira. The two day festival has been organised by Maori health provider Te Oranga Tonu Tanga and the Te Waka Hauora /Public Health South.

"It's a competitive festival that celebrates iwi mana and identity," explains Aroha Noema from Te Oranga Tonu Tanga.

"We've asked groups who live in this area to create their own flag for a special march-past ceremony and then they'll compete in Kapa Haka and Touch Rugby."

Around 200 people from various iwi groups are expected to attend. People are able to register on the day.

"Many Maori who live here belong to iwi from other parts of the country. We want to strengthen the celebration of tribal identity," Aroha says.

Aroha's team at Te Oranga Tonu Tanga provides Maori Mental Health services and is based in the grounds of Wakari Hospital.

"Our people are over-represented in health services, and many of the issues they are dealing with stem from their distance with whanau - and resulting poor self esteem. Return of the Rangatira is a way of positively positioning Maori identity and celebrating our strength and intelligence."

ENDS

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