Regional | Hākinakina

A netball legend in her own right at Te Hui Ahurei a Tuhoe

She’s a stalwart of Tuhoe netball as her dream has been fulfilled since her Mataatua ki Rotorua club became hosts of Te Hui Ahurei a Tuhoe this year. Her name is Te Orohi Callaghan.

Te Orohi Callaghan says, “Every festival we're catching up with family from Waimana, Ruatahuna, Waiohau, and Ruatoki. Sometimes our ladies are challenged with some of the accommodations that we stay at. Some say, "goodness gracious the roof is caving in", however for me, I'm committed to stay and experience the journey. But I'm happy that it's here.”

Te Orohi Callaghan has taken part in Te Hui Ahurei a Tuhoe since she was a child. Participating in netball and Kapa Haka for her Mataatua ki Rotorua club.

“My job is coordinating the netball like I do every Saturday over winter and I love it. I know the game quite well. I adore our kids whether they're Māori or not, playing the sport. The only issue I find, there's no pathway for them to make the Silver Ferns. But happy that they have a passion for the game.”

She's a stalwart and coordinator of the Kurangaituku tournament and various regional high school competitions for Te Waiariki.

“I started playing netball in Ruatoki. We drove in our vehicles, it was raining as I can recall and we wore gumboots. We played on grass courts, it was slippery but also entertaining. I'm proud that the festival is back here. There's real history here.”

Netball is in her genes.

“The second place trophy is named after my mother in the A Grade section. So I always tell my girls to get runners-up so that we can bring the trophy home. But you know, they just love taking part in the event.”

Te Orohi doesn't mind the festival returning back to Tuhoe in two years. Her achievement so far, was assisting in to host the event with Mataatua Marae.