An inaugural Regional Sport Organisation for Kī o Rahi has been established in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland, to help lead, grow and sustain successful delivery of the traditional Māori game across the region. 

With support from community leaders Danny Maera and Danica Walker, and Aktive – Auckland Sport & Recreation (Aktive), Kī o Rahi Tāmaki Makaurau Inc. (KORTM) is founded on the values of Kaitiakitanga, Whanaungatanga and Kotahitanga and will deliver Kī o Rahi specific programmes ensuring Te Reo Māori me ona Tikanga is upheld.  

A traditional Māori game, Kī o Rahi is played with a ‘kī’ (ball) and consists of two teams both attacking and defending in different ways to outscore their opponents 

Danny Maera (left) and Danica Walker (right)

Danica Walker, KORTM Director, says the establishment of KORTM is exciting and the team is looking forward to boosting the sport. 

“We developed a vision for this organisation 12 months ago and officially became an Incorporated Society in November 2018. We’re now focused on growing Kī o Rahi throughout Tāmaki Makaurau, targeting both Māori and non-Māori, with Te Reo Māori me ona Tikanga at the forefront of our delivery,” says Danica. 

“We would like to acknowledge Aktive who assisted with the development of the constitution, needed for incorporation, through its partner Simpson Grierson; as well as He Oranga Poutama who play a key role in the revitalisation of traditional Māori games and supported the establishment and work of KORTM to meet the increased demand for Kī o Rahi. 

“We are also grateful for the support we have received from various community networks including local marae, Papatuanuku, Mātaatua and Makaurau Marae.” 

Dr Sarah Sandley, Chief Executive Officer, Aktive says the move marks a significant opportunity for Kī o Rahi. 

“The establishment of KORTM will connect more people to the game of Kī o Rahi and help grow and strengthen its presence in various community settings including primary schools, secondary schools, tertiary, iwi, hapu and marae,” says Dr Sandley.  

“We are happy to support this and look forward to following the growth of Kī o Rahi in Tāmaki Makaurau.”  

Founding Board Members of KORTM are Danica Walker (Te Whanau a Apanui, Ngati Manu), Danny Maera (Tainui, Ngapuhi), Ayla Hoeta ( Ngati Tahinga) and Pania Newton (Te Rarawa, Waikato). With backgrounds in education and Kī o Rahi experience spanning over a decade, Danny and Danica have led teams to nationals, back-to-back national titles, and facilitate Kī o Rahi programmes and tournaments.