It's one of the highlights of the year for many Ngāti Porou descendants, Pā Wars attracted more than 2000 people from 19 marae to the competition that is in its 24th year.
Ngata Memorial College in Ruatoria was packed with people. Who all turned up to take part in the annual Pa Wars competition?
One of the participants Pohatu Poutu told Te Kāea, “It's great to see the sun again. The last two Pa Wars it rained and it was difficult to see the sun, so it's a nice feeling here. I don’t know if the change of venue is the reason the sun is shining, but it makes me happy.”
Keeping active, winning money for their respective marae and bringing people together is what it's all about. There were many different sports, for the physically active, and for the older generation.
“I think more than 2000 people have come today, later in the day more people will come, but I think the number of competitors here is near 2000,” says Selwyn Parata.
Amongst the thousands was a current Black Ferns player, who recently helped her team win the Women’s Rugby World Cup title last year, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate. She says “You know if anything, the competition I would like to win is a pa wars competition, even though there’s a World Cup you know, Pā Wars is where it’s at”.
There weren't only sports held for the descendants of Porourangi. There was also the Wearable Arts, made from recycled material, for those that are more creative.
Participant Rongo Atkins says, “We started this all the way back in June, my sister and I, and we decided we wanted to do this garment, and then we got our kids to do this fitness ball, so we paper mache'd it to get this round shape, but then the birds came and ate it, so we tried it on my deck, so we had to re-paper mache it again, and then we did all the cups, about 450 cups on there from our waster from school, the actual making of it, took 4 weeks”
The 25th Pa Wars will be held on the same day, on the 3rd of January next year.