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Last Team Standing Wins ‘Ariki’ – On Māori Television

Young Māori men and women battle it out in a revolutionary Māori martial arts competition, ARIKI, returning for a second season on Māori Television this Māori Language Day, Tuesday 14 September 2021, at 4.00 PM.

'Hopu i te Ariki' or ‘Catch the Chief’ is a new fast-paced sport of skill and strategy based upon the ancestral art form, mau rākau, and conceived by the prestigious National School for Ancient Māori Weaponry, Te Whare Tū Taua o Aotearoa.

Te Arahi Maipi (Waikato) from West Auckland-based production company Mahi Tahi Media says the first series of ARIKI in 2019 generated an overwhelming response from rangatahi, whānau and kura keen to see the game introduced to more schools.

Eight teams with five warriors - including one Ariki per team - will compete in this year’s tournament which includes preliminary and elimination rounds, semi-finals and a grand finale.

In 2021, the battle arena has been relocated to Puketotara (also known as Jonkers Farm) providing a spectacular backdrop for the fierce fighting with rākau (sticks).

Maipi says the last team standing will win the coveted title of ARIKI champions by one of two ways - either eliminating all members of the opposing team or by striking the Ariki once, thus eliminating the entire tribe. Five umpires and two judges will adjudicate.

Explains Maipi: “In warrior against warrior, three strikes to the knee means you’re out. In warrior against Ariki, one strike to the head means the whole team is out. In Ariki against Ariki, one strike to the head or the knees means the whole team is out.

“It’s toe to toe, one-on-one combat, Ariki versus Ariki. If both teams have the same number of members still standing at the end of battle, then we go to one-on-one.”

Coming up on the second season of ARIKI:

· EPISODE 1 - Tuesday 14 September 2021 at 4.00 PM: Te Aho Matua vs Te Whatu Kōtuku

· EPISODE 2 - Tuesday 21 September 2021 at 4.00 PM: Te Akerautangi vs Te Aka Raukura

· EPISODE 3 - Tuesday 28 September 2021 at 4.00 PM: Ngā Niho Tipua o Kahukura vs Ngā Reiputa o Kahukura

· EPISODE 4 - Tuesday 5 October 2021 at 4.00 PM: Ngā Hua o Tū vs Ngā Toa Matarau

· EPISODE 5 - Tuesday 12 October 2021 at 4.00 PM: Te Aho Matua vs Ngā Niho Tipua o Kahukura

· EPISODE 6 - Tuesday 19 October 2021 at 4.00 PM: Te Akerautangi vs Ngā Hua o Tū

· EPISODE 7 - Tuesday 26 October 2021 at 4.00 PM: Ngā Reiputa o Kahukura vs Te Whatu Kōtuku

The second series of ARIKI - entirely in the Māori language with English subtitles - premieres on Māori Television on Māori Language Day, Tuesday 14 September 2021, at 4.00 PM.

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