Youth Olympics on the horizon for Rugby Taiohi

Arorangi Sariah Wiripene Totorewa Tauranga, or Aro, (Ngāti Rora, Ngāti Huiao), 18, has performed magnificently in previous tournaments like the Oceania Youth Olympic Games Qualifier which has resulted in her selection to represent Aotearoa for the Under 18s Sevens tournament at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October of this year.

It is the very first time that Aotearoa will see a Sevens Rugby side play at the Youth Olympics, of which the incredibly hard-working women’s Under 18 team has qualified out of a competitive one qualification spot contest to perform for the wider Oceania.

The announcement of players was declared in mid-June and with it came the position that Aro worked so hard for. For a player who finds enjoyment in the positions of Middle and Link, the pathway for her has been made As she noted in her statement when receiving the Condor Girls MVP 2017 at the national level, she is delighted at the chance to succeed on the international stage.



Aro, who is one of three Hamilton High School Girls players, will endeavor to push both her physical body and mental strength as she looks to pave the way for her future aspirations and goals in Sevens Rugby.

Evidently, rugby holds a rich culture, history, and story for Aotearoa and Maniapoto. With that in mind, the combination of determination, raw talent, and great potential will serve Aro well as she strives to stamp her mark at the Youth Olympics.

The Maniapoto Māori Trust Board is proud to support a young and inspiring Māori wahine such as Aro who look to accomplish great feats for her whānau and for her people.

Rangatahi Māori advocate for change at the United Nations

“Tukua kia tū takitahi ngā whetū o te rangi, ngā whetū o Matariki, o te tau hōu Māori”

As Matariki rose, Rangipare Belshaw-Ngaropo (Ngāti Apakura), 24, along with Tamoko Ormsby (Ngāti Rora), 25, flew with a kāhui delegation of 5 other rangatahi to attend yet another forum of the United Nations. He Kuaka Mārangaranga has taken flight once more to migrate, network and engage with the global indigenous community at the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Presenting in April at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, the alert and exciting rangatahi grasped at the opportunity to further their vision of weaving together the global community of future indigenous leaders, and to exhaust all avenues and mechanisms to propose a dedicated forum hui in Aotearoa in 2020.

He Kuaka Mārangaranga had their work cut out for them. Firstly, gathering the incredible support of iwi, hapū, whānau, and numerous organisations to push the delegation towards its goal of reaching EMRIP. Secondly, to gather that support to fundraise and achieve a target of $35,000 in 10 days, which is an amazing feat in itself. Thirdly, to reciprocate the support by presenting at a side event alongside Te Puni Kokiri and directly addressing various issues on Migration, Ōtakiri Water Rights, and Solution-based perspective to the Experts at the United Nations.

Rangipare along with Te Huia Taylor and Waimirirangi Koopu-Stone were at the forefront of the kaupapa as they proudly presented to the United Nations. Whilst this was happening, the new addition to the kāhui, Tamoko, used his creative capabilities and cultural lens to capture their activities in advocating for change and the events throughout the haerenga.

The rangatahi delegation have set out to move their words towards action which they continue to accomplish, and through act they are beginning to implement and promote their fundamental agenda of gathering and hosting the Global Indigenous Community of Future Leaders in 2020.

It is evident that these rangatahi have been chosen because of their skills in leadership through education, unapologetic perspective, cultural competence and determination. With those skills, the continuation to display a key component and pay it forward has been made through a Rangatahi Scholarship which they established for Geneva. The winner being Te Waikamihi Lambert (Ngāti Awa), and with succession planning in focus, this kāhui will fly high with its learning, experiences, and it’s aim of ensuring change for future Māori.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board were privileged to support the Maniapoto rangatahi that attended EMRIP, and look forward to seeing their inspirational journeys continue.