The Toa Oranga Tinana kaumātua group have successfully won their bid to host next year's national Kaumātua Olympics in Rotorua.
Speaking on behalf of her group, Laurie Morrison says after securing the rights to host next year's event they are looking forward to catering to the more than 300 elderly people who are expected to attend.
“It's the first time that the Kaumātua Olympics...has been hosted here. I know we've had pan-iwi ones here before but this is really amazing,” says Morrison.
The national kaumātua Olympic event has been going for over ten years and next year will mark the 15th national gathering.
Preston Whare, co-owner of TOA Advanced Health & Fitness, where the kaumātua Olympians train, says, “It's going to be an awesome event, awesome opportunity for Te Arawa to show everybody what they are capable of preparing.”
Morrison says they also hope to include all organisations working with the elderly.
“It give us the opportunity to liaise with our non-Māori service providers, like Age Concern. We will be ready to send a pānui out to the oldest citizens so they can see what we are doing.”
Huhana Davie, who is a member of Toa Oranga Tinana Kaumātua, says, “It's for them, for our kaumātua, their tinana, for their life. It's enjoyment, [there's] so much in it for our kaumātua.”
The group is currently in the planning stages and hope to hold the event after September next year.