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U19 cricketers welcomed with toanga

 
This page contains information about the Mayoral Welcome for the U19 cricket teams that took place on Friday 12 January 2018.
Updated: 23/01/2018 4:06 p.m.

​Four teams competing in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under 19 (U19) series received a rousing welcome when they arrived in Whangarei. 

Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai, local kaumatua Richard Shepherd and Taipari Munro, Te Puu Ao Kapa Haka, hosts from Terenga Paraoa Marae and Whangarei officials all took part in the powhiri held at the marae.  Mayor Mai said the marae is a communal and sacred space, a meeting place for local Maori – (tangata whenua) and their respected visitors (manuhiri rangatira).  “A marae is the heart of our community and by welcoming you in this place, we bring you to our heart, where we hold you close until you leave us,” she said.

“You are the future stars of international cricket, the next generation coming through and we will watch your careers with interest.”

Each of the team captains received a special purerehua (bullroarer) taonga from the 89,000 people of Whangarei. The purerehua is an ancient wind instrument that Maori used to communicate in both the physical and spiritual worlds. 

“Its gifting symbolised a long-lasting connection between our countries,” said Mr Munro.

“The purerehua takes its name from the moth. Its sound is similar to the whirling and hovering sound of a moth’s wings as it flies. Its sound can stir the soul and raise emotion from the deepest part of the heart.

“It is said that as the purerehua begins its flight, the spirit of its player travels up the cord to create the sound, taking the dreams and desires of the player to the listeners in this world and beyond to the heavens,” he concluded.

“I hope its gifting to each of your teams today provides you with an auspicious start to your tournament,” Mayor Mai said.  The tournament is the 12th of its kind and the third on New Zealand soil, following previous events in 2002 and 2010. This is the first time Whangarei has hosted these games. 

The four host cities and seven match venues were Whangarei (Cobham Oval), Tauranga (Bay Oval), Christchurch (Hagley Oval, Rangiora Oval, Bert Sutcliffe Oval and Lincoln No.3) and Queenstown (John Davies Oval).  Whangarei’s games were held between Saturday 13 January and Saturday 20 January.  

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