Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Union (NPECRU), a constituent of the New Zealand Rugby Union, will bring three significant sporting events to te Tairāwhiti.
“NPECRU is renown for manaakitanga, so it was important for us to host our peers from all grades around the motu as we celebrate 100 years of Ngati Porou Rugby,” says NPECRU board member Leeanne Morice.
“The support from Trust Tairāwhiti is integral in enabling us to provide quality rugby experiences, for players and supporters alike, while sharing our special part of the world.”
The Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Union team is formally known as Ngati Porou East Coast, with its home playing ground at Enterprise Whakarua Park, Ruatoria.
“The significance and special place that rugby has within whānau, hapu, and iwi of the region cannot be underestimated,” says Trust Chair Dr Paul Reynolds.
In 2021 the union will play host to high calibre one-off events, including the Centennial Reunion, the Te Tini a Maui Tournament, and the Hurricanes Under 16s Tournament.
The Centennial Reunion celebrates 100 years of Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby and will profile past and present players and officials. The weekend will also coincide with the re-dedication of Uepohatu Dining Hall and the annual Ngati Porou East Coast vs. Poverty Bay rugby fixture.
The Te Tini a Maui Tournament is for rangatahi and wahine and is scheduled for October 30. Iwi teams will compete in the event, which will largely profile women. Four grades will take part, including under 18 girls’ and under 18 boys’ teams and senior women’s and men’s teams.
The Hurricane’s Under 16s tournament will feature teenage grades focusing on rangatahi development with 12 provincial teams taking part.
Of the total cost of funding the four events, two-thirds have been secured from other sources.
“As the only iwi-founded rugby union in New Zealand, the game of rugby extends from in-region to nationwide and connects whanau living overseas, especially in Australia where there are approximately 15,000 Nati.” Dr Reynolds says.
“Rugby on the East Coast has been pivotal in connecting the iwi and the communities within it over the years and is a well-supported and heavily followed institution.
“These centennial celebrations align with He Tohu Ora, our wellbeing framework through tūtangata / cultural identity and hapori / communities,”. The union has been conscious of having a fair spread of diversity with events focused on women, men, young people, game officials, administrators, whanau and associated stakeholders.”
Trust Tairawhiti has also approved six smaller grants for $10,000 and less, totalling $36,620.
The Nest Collective NZ Charitable Trust will receive $10,000 towards pēpi packs to ensure vulnerable whānau in the region can meet the needs of their newborn pēpi.
Te Kapa Haka o Whangara Mai Tawhiti will receive $10,000 towards an exhibition entitled “Na te Kainga, No te Kainga” showcasing the talents of the hapu through visual and performing arts and celebration over two days.
A grant of $6,600 will go to Waihorokaka Limited, a marae-led collaboration of three marae based in Ruatoria to fund a programme of business workshops.
Three Rivers Community Patrol receives $4,610 to continue the service of patrolling central Gisborne in a vehicle and on foot. This service helps reduce offending in the community and makes it feel safer.
The Gisborne Toy Library Inc will receive $4,400 for operating costs relating to renting the current premises and providing high-quality toys to the community.
Finally, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Horouta Wananga will receive $1,000 towards hosting of Te Tairawhiti Nga Manu Korero and secondary school kapa haka competitions at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae.