Kids flock to play most Kiwi of sports
Imagine a combination of rugby, dodgeball, tag and live-action role play involving two games being played at the same time – and it’s a game native to New Zealand.
To the uninitiated, it looks pretty complicated. It’s a ball game most Pa¯keha¯ and even many Ma¯ori haven’t heard of – kı¯-o-rahi.
It’s not just any ball game, but one based on a colourful pu¯ra¯kau (legend) of a man called Rahitutakahina rescuing his wife, Tiarakurapakewai, after overcoming several obstacles involving a taniwha, a lake and an ice bridge.
Some Ma¯ori communities have been aware of the game since at least World War II, but the origins are unclear.
Ara Institute has been holding rounds of kı¯-o-rahi on Monday nights and now a bunch of eager Christchurch kids are taking it on.
Yaldhurst Model School, a primary school on the outskirts of Christchurch, is testing kı¯-o-rahi with its students. Five other schools are following suit.
Sport Canterbury learnt kı¯o-rahi from TOA Sports at Ara Institute and thought it would be a good sport for primary schools to try.
The Yaldhurst student body also thought it was a good idea and, alongside Sport Canterbury, taught the sport to five other schools.
Sport Canterbury community sport adviser Robbie Harlow said the process was quick and pupils were keen to learn the game.
‘‘We went through the whole game with myself and someone else from Sport Canterbury and they then brought in five other schools to learn in a day.
‘‘They’ve then taken that back to their schools and practised and that’s resulting in a cluster tournament.’’
The children at Yaldhurst insist it is not complicated once you get the hang of it, so here are the rules, according to Rangatira Tu Rangatira (and there are many variations):
Two teams, the kı¯oma and the taniwha, play on a large circular field. Like basketball it has four quarters and teams rotate at half time.
Kı¯oma score by touching the pou (pillars) with the kı¯ (ball) then running the kı¯ through Te Roto (the lake) and placing it down in pawero to convert pou touches into points. Like a rugby try.
Taniwha have to hit the tupu in the middle with the kı¯. Kı¯oma have kaitiaki (guardians) around the tupu to stop the taniwha from hitting the tupu. In turn the taniwha must stop the kı¯oma from scoring.
Tourists’ baby run over
A baby has been run over in a Whangamata driveway. The 1-yearold boy was flown to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition yesterday morning, Senior Sergeant Ray Malcolmson, of Waikato police, said. The child was struck by a vehicle in a driveway of a holiday property around 9.15am, he said. It was understood the child was with his parents, who are tourists visiting from Germany. They flew with the child from the beachside town to the hospital, Malcolmson said.
Body on beach
A man’s body was discovered on a Northland beach yesterday morning. Members of the public found the body at Mangawhai Heads, south of Whangarei. No other details were available and the death would be referred to the coroner.
Capital rail strike today
A 24-hour railway workers’ strike will likely clog Wellington’s road network all of today. Rail Maritime Transport Union workers announced on Tuesday that they would strike over employment conditions after hitting an impasse with train operators Transdev Wellington and Hyundai Rotem. The strikers will stop work for 24 hours, starting from 2am today affecting all commuter services on Johnsonville Hutt, Melling, Wairarapa, and Ka¯piti lines. It would be the first industrial action since 1994 to affect the Wellington rail network for longer than two hours. The strike action comes after Transdev and Hyundai Rotem called for the removal of longstanding terms and conditions in the workers’ collective agreement.
$50m drug haul
Police have seized $50 million worth of methamphetamine in Christchurch, the largest capture of the drugs in the South Island. Police said the 49-kilogram shipment was discovered in 40 separate packages concealed within safety lights. Two men aged 25 and 31 have been arrested and appeared in court charged with importing a class A drug, and possession of methamphetamine for supply.
Rise in Legionnaires cases
A Canterbury woman is in an induced coma on life support after being struck down by Legionnaires disease last week. Jillian Wadsworth, 40, was rushed to Christchurch Hospital last Thursday and was put in an induced coma on Friday. On Saturday night she was flown to Auckland Hospital, where she was put on life-support. Doctors told the family Wadsworth remains in a critical condition. She is one of 10 Cantabrians struck by the disease in the past week with the spike being blamed on a boost in the use of potting mix for spring gardening. Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Alistair Humphrey hoped the spike would be a wake-up call for complacent gardeners. ‘‘If you do get this illness it can be very serious. It can kill you and if it doesn’t kill you sometimes you can end up in hospital for a very long time and it’s preventable.’’
Yaldhurst School is one of six Christchurch schools learning to play kı¯-o-rahi.