Maori rugby in Otago will be celebrated on Saturday with a
skills session and get-together for a group hatched 30 years
One of the organisers of the celebration, Raymond Te Huki,
said Maori rugby in Otago had come a long way since it first
started in the early 1980s.
The celebrations would be held both on and off the field on
Saturday, centred around the North Ground, the home of the
There will be a skills sessions for promising young Maori
players from about 10am to mid-afternoon on Saturday taken by
New Zealand Rugby Union Maori development manager Tiki
It is also hoped some Maori rugby trophies and displays which
were on show at the Rugby World Cup in Auckland may be
shipped down from Wellington and shown.
At night there will be a dinner and get-together to talk
about the past 30 years of Maori rugby in Otago.
Te Huki said Maori rugby had started with a loose group of
people around 1982 and had become more formal as it gradually
grew ties with the Otago Rugby Football Union.
Members of the Haua family had been the catalyst for the
early Otago Maori sides.
Te Huki said it had been a fairly loose arrangement to start
with as teams were made up on the day to take on other
The Maori sides would take on Otago representative sides such
as Otago B or Otago Colts.
The side had a strong link with the University of Otago and
many students new to Dunedin enjoyed playing in Maori teams,
Te Huki said.
Three Otago sides - senior men, senior women and colts - have
played in a South Island Maori tournament over the past few
years and will line up in the tournament in Timaru next
Sides from Canterbury and Marlborough will also play in the