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Clash of the Iwi event added to Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles

Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), one of the many local Taranaki surfers that will compete at the event this weekend.
Zhana Hutchieson ©





Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles

Surfing New Zealand
Taranaki, New Zealand
22 - 23 October, 2016

Swell forecast looks promising as a big low pressure system moves under New Zealand

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 October, 2016 - The 2016 Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles will see a Clash of the Iwi component added to find who will reign supreme in Taranaki this Labour Weekend (22nd – 23rd October).

The country’s best Maori surfers are set to line up at the event and the Clash of the Iwi component will add spice to the weekend of surfing set to take place at Waitara.

The swell forecast is looking very promising with a big low pressure system traversing under New Zealand.  This system will drive a big swell up the west coast of both islands and favourable southerly winds are forecast for Saturdaywith the potential of light offshores on Sunday morning.

The majority of the local surfers represent the Te Atiawa Iwi and therefore they will go in to the event as favourites for the Clash of the Iwi.  However the strong talent pool from Tauranga representing Ngai Te Rangi will also be a contender for top Iwi as will the likes of Tainui with their links to the point breaks of Raglan and Ngati Porou from the East Coast and Gisborne Region.

The Clash of the Iwi will be a points-based system whereby the top four surfers from each Iwi will secure overall points to find an Iwi champion. Champions will also be crowned across ten individual divisions from the premier Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions through to Under 14 Boys as well as Longboard and Stand Up Paddleboard.

The event has a long history of providing a competitive platform for Maori surfers.  The likes of 2015 World Tour surfer Ricardo Christie (Gis), 2015 Ultimate Waterman champion Daniel Kereopa (Rag), New Zealand representatives Jessica Santorik (Rag), Airini Mason (Gis) and Johnny Hicks (Gis) have all claimed titles at the event.

Just this year, the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team comprising twelve surfers, was filled with eight young Maori future stars, several of which are likely to compete this weekend. The Titles were first held in Taranaki in 1993 before being held in a number of regions throughout New Zealand.  This year’s event is being hosted by Waitara Bar Boardriders Club.

The event will commence with a powhiri at Owae Marae in Waitara on Fridayevening.  Two days of surfing will take place before the poroporoaki will conclude the weekend on Sunday evening.

Manuhiri (visitors) from around Aotearoa are welcome to stay at Owae Marae for the weekend.  The event itself has always been a family affair and a time to enjoy hanging at the beach with friends and whanau with the competitive side of surfing being only a small part of the weekend.  

Ben Kennings

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