March 2015: This weekend marked the 4th year running of the games with each year bringing more and more whānau.
Dean James told Maori Television reporter, Mere McLean, “It's good to see families from Maketu to Tongariro coming here to support this event.”
12 teams registered for the event with the kī-o-rahi and waka ama titles being fought for on Sunday.
Cathy Dewes told Ms McLean, “The main objective is to come together. It's a call to all the tribes of Te Arawa to come together and play the games of this generation and those from the past like kī-ō-rahi.”
Co-ordinator Hana Tapiata of Te Papa Takaro, the organisation which organises the games each year, told the Rotorua Daily Post that they had been preparing since last year for the action-packed event with activities including touch football, maunga run up Mount Ngongotaha, basketball, waka ama, ki o rahi, power pulling, Te Arawa Fit, tennis and rama koura (crayfish, eel catching).
Miss Tapiata explained that "a value-based scoring system introduced last year would again be part of the competition which focused on how teams played and interacted rather than just who won."
"It's an interesting dynamic who people identify with but there is a mixture of teams representing their iwi, hapu, marae and whanau," Miss Tapiata said.
"It is inter-generational, most of the grades must have one or two whanau members playing who are below the age of 12 and one and two over the age of 40."
Miss Tapiata said the main aim of the games was to bring people together to celebrate being Te Arawa and as a sports trust, promote health and wellness.
A core group of up to 15 volunteers will be helping out over the two days.
"I'm just looking forward to seeing marae, iwi and hapu taking part and having fun," Miss Tapiata said.
*Top photo courtesy of Te Papa Takaro, bottom photo courtesy of Ben Fraser.