E-gaming a hit with rangatahi and adults alike this Matariki

By Kawe Roes

Arepa Gamers hosted the Whawhai o Ngā Whetu e-gamer expo with the Porirua City Council over the weekend to celebrate Matariki 2019. 

Paretao Tipoki-Hansen (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa) is one of many youths who came to the first gaming expo for the lower North Island. 

"We've come from Wainuiomata, all seven of us, to support what's going on here at Te Rauparaha Arena," says Tipoki-Hansen, "It's very special for us to do this and support the idea of bringing gamers and players across the region together."

Whawhai o Ngā Whetu is a showcase for gamers and players of all ages to come and play together while learning about the e-gaming industry.  

Organiser Mokena Tumaurirere from Arepa Gamers Club says, "[The aim is] to help expose people who are in the industry to our community here in Porirua and all around the country, to help them think about the reason why they should be in the gaming industry, to encourage more Māori to be playing and working in the gaming industry."

An expert from Rotorua agrees.

Karamana Mikaere, from Native Esports says, "I think it's a good experience especially for the pro players who do play in a lot of tournaments, just to get a good grip on the local community as well as competitive play on stage.

"I want to come down and help Wellington and then come back and say 'we're gonna come back and smash yous, we're gonna beat yous!' - that's the main point of it.  So, anyone wanting to get involved in professional gaming hit us up because it's our time."

It looks like no matter where you're from, it's an expo for one and all.