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Tīma Tāngata exhibit opens

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Local rugby greats Hika Reid and Matt Te Pou are encouraging locals to visit the Tīma Tāngata Māori Rugby exhibition while it’s in Rotorua.

The exhibition was officially opened at Rotorua Energy Events Centre this morning with a pōwhiri. This week former Māori All Blacks will be at the exhibition ready to take visitors on a guided tour.

It will be open daily from 9am – 4pm until Friday 23 June. Entry for adults is a gold coin donation (koha).

Displayed only once before, during the 2011 World Cup, the exhibition showcases more than 100 years of Māori Rugby and will be in Rotorua for a week.

From iconic players such as Buck Shelford and George Nēpia, to the coaches that inspired such as Matt Te Pou, the longest serving Māori All Blacks coach, the exhibition is a look into the history and influence Māori have had on New Zealand’s national game.

Hikatarewa ‘Hika’ Reid, who played for both the All Blacks and the New Zealand Māori team during the 1980s, says it’s great to see the exhibition in Rotorua – the heart of Te Arawa.

“It is absolutely brilliant to see Tīma Tāngata showcased in Rotorua. It depicts the history and wairua (spirit) of Māori rugby which was so influential to way the game itself developed over the years.

“It’s great to see the exhibition highlight the icons but it is also about everyone else who had input into the history – the players and the coaches throughout the years,” Mr Reid says.

“Māori rugby has always been about allowing the players to express their unique style and flare and nowadays you see that encouraged throughout the rest of the teams. Having the exhibition here makes me feel great as a Māori rugby player and as a Māori.”

Mr Te Pou says he hopes that Tīma Tāngata will help to inspire the youth of Rotorua.

“We want to see the schools come down and enjoy the history that is told through this exhibition. They will see that the Silver Fern and the black and white uniform that everyone knows now, originated from Tamati Ellison, the captain of New Zealand’s first official rugby team in 1893.

“The New Zealand Natives were the first team to venture outside of New Zealand on a tour, that still hasn’t been surpassed, that lasted 14 months with 107 games and an 80% success rate.

“Rotorua is a great environment for this exhibition and a great environment for the Māori All Blacks to perform against The Lions this weekend.

“The team are the legacy of all the history that is showcased in Tīma Tāngata and I think that when they see it, it will hit them that they are the custodians of this history,” Mr Te Pou says.

School groups are being encouraged to book and take a tour through the exhibit next week. It takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to go through. To make a booking contact Steve Watene on 022 428 8323 or via email to steve@wa-consultancy.

Fans can also view the exhibition on the way into the official Fan Zone on Saturday night where they can watch the mighty Māori All Blacks take on The British & Irish Lions.

This exhibition was brought together by New Zealand Rugby and Bay of Plenty Rugby with the help of sponsors Te Puni Kōkiri, Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust, First Sovereign and Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust.

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