games were brought about.’’
The introduction of ki o rahi into the education system was considered a breakthrough, she said. It was Harko Brown, of Whakaaratamaiti Marae, who revitalised the nga taonga takaro, or traditional Maori sports and games.
‘‘ People kind of view it as another sport like rugby but in actual fact it’s quite meaningful to participate in our traditional games,’’ she said.
Maaka is actively promoting the sport in 21 South Waikato schools and said Putaruru’s new ki o rahi field was just the tip of the iceberg.
‘‘Just like you have a rugby field and a netball court in every school, we want a ki o rahi field in every school.’’