Te Waiotu Fairlie was one of over a hundred surfers who gathered at Rarawa Beach in the Northland for the annual Māori surf championships.
“This is a place to come together through a sport we all love… Surfing is in our blood as Māori, so thats why it should be celebrated,” she says.
Charles Kauwhata is on the committee for the event and has seen it grow over the past 30 years since it was established in Taranaki.
“It started there and then went to Tauranga, then Whāingaroa and now it has been here in the North for the past three years.”
With 21 total iwi competing in the event, Kauwhata says Māori naturally excel in this sport.
“We pay homage to Tangaroa and the Sky father. There is definitely a connection between surfing and the people of the Pacific.”
Ngāpuhi surfers were the overall winners of the competition.
Open Men’s Division – Navryn Malone (Mahaki)
Open Women’s Division – Elin Tawharu (Ngati Raukawa)
Under 18 Boys Division – Tai Murphy (Ngati Awa)
Under 18 Girls Division – Indi-Lee Ruddell (Te Rarawa)
Under 16 Boys Division – Harrison Biddle (Te Aupouri)
Under 14 Boys Division – Luca Thompson (Tainui)
Under 14 Girls Division – Kyra Wallis (Ngapuhi)
Over 35 Men’s Division – Chris Malone (Mahaki)
Over 45 Men’s Division – Mike Kiwi (Ngai Terangi)
Men’s Longboard Division – Zen Wallis (Ngapuhi)
Women’s Longboard – Natasha Gouldsbury (Te Atiawa)
Stand Up Paddleboard Division – Jamie Andrews (Te Atiawa)