Marae battle it out on the waves for Tainui Games

Tainui top surfers hit the waves at Manu Bay for the biennial Waikato Tainui Games.

Held over two consecutive weekends at three regional locations – Raglan, Ngaruawahia and Hopuhopu, whaanau competed in a wide range of activities, which included touch, volleyball, netball, basketball, power pulling, Haakarimata Track, table tennis, chess, tennis, Ki-o-Rahi, waaka ama, indoor bowls, euchre, tiaki taiao and talent quest.

Dubbed the Marae Battle in the Moana, the surfing event has been running for the past eight years.

Event organiser Harley Muru says the main goal of the games is to bring people together from around the rohe (region) in a fun and friendly competition.

“It was an action-packed weekend. We had 60 of our kids in the water giving surfing a go scoring points for their Marae, it was such an epic section of the competition.”

Manu Bay was awash with over 100 keen surfers, with the youngest grommet aged four and the oldest 65.

Battle for supremacy on the waves took place in all age divisions and it was a tightly fought competition.

“It was a very competitive weekend with kids everywhere and people in every corner of Manu Bay reserve. Thanks to Arna Solomon Banks for all her hard work and Kiri Morgan for being the awesome MC and to all the people who came to support the kaupapa,” he says.

This year around 78,000 registered tribal members from 68 marae took part compete in fun events that encouraged all to participate, from tamariki to kaumaatua.

One of our most popular and largest events on the Tainui calendar, the Tainui Games has been running now for 22 years.

Although the competition is fierce at times the main focus of the games has always been whakawhanaungatanga and manaakitanga.

Janine Jackson