Pride of New Zealand: Our first Northland nomination

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Harko Brown, Community spirit category


Traditional Maori games have enjoyed a resurgence in the past few years, thanks to people such as Northland man Harko Brown introducing them in the playground again.


Mr Brown has voluntarily gone out to various schools in the region over the past few years, to teach and coach the old Maori sport, ki-o-rahi.


The ball game incorporates a mix of aspects similar to rugby, netball, Aussie rules and touch.


What makes the game unique is that the field includes several carved pou, or pillars, which mark out boundaries.


For the first time, last year, a fully carved ki-o-rahi field was built in Waitangi.


Mr Brown said bringing back “the ways of the old” was something that was connecting youngsters to their past, in a different way.


“It’s not just about being warriors … when I see people playing the game, it makes me feel proud of our tupuna [ancestors] and what they left with us.”


Mr Brown – who is a teacher – has also accompanied international delegates who have taken part in a game of ki-o-rahi.


“We’ve played people from Spain, Samoa, Canada, even Italians, French and German.


“It’s another way we’re showing off our Maori traditions.”



Volunteer restores tradition


The Northern Advocate is getting behind a project to find deserving heroes in our community and we want you to submit your nominations now.


We’re looking for those everyday Kiwis who selflessly strive to make New Zealand an even better place to live.


They’ll be celebrated as part of the nationwide Pride of New Zealand Awards, which will recognise leaders, campaigners, volunteers, teachers, care givers and other unsung heroes who have done something extraordinary in their community.


The award is supported by the Northern Advocate together with sponsors The New Zealand Herald, radio station The Hits, and TSB Bank.


Awards categories will be judged by a panel of prominent Kiwis and our readers will also get to have a say through the TSB Bank’s People’s Choice Award.


Regional winners will be named in early August and national winners will be announced at a ceremony in September.




*Bravery/Heroism Award

*Community Spirit Award

*Fundraiser of the Year Award

*Emergency Services Award

*Environmental Award

*Lifetime Achievement

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