11 Jan 2010

Revival of traditional Maori games sought

8:57 pm on 11 January 2010

A Northland teacher has lodged a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal asking for traditional Maori sports to be formally introduced to the school curriculum.

Cultural specialist Harko Brown believes the Treaty was breached through the demise of traditional Maori sports during early European settlement.

He says the sports were banned because missionaries, among others, viewed them as anti-Christian.

Mr Brown claims this prejudicially affected Maori, diminishing their health and wellbeing.

He says it is ironic that in 2004, a Maori ball game, ki-o-rahi, was introduced to 31,000 schools in the United States, as part of a fitness programme using indigenous sports.

Mr Brown wants a similar programme to be introduced to the New Zealand curriculum.

Former All Black Buck Shelford is to accompany two New Zealand teams, and will possibly play in a ki-o-rahi Test in France in September.

Shelford says he will support any moves to introduce the sport to primary schools.