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Regional | Ngāti Tūrangitukua

'The joy on the faces of the tamariki makes everything worth it': Tūrangi opens new sports facility

Tūrangi's new $3.5m sports facility Te Mataapuna was officially opened on Saturday. Photo / Taupō District Council / Facebook

A new sports facility in Tūrangi, the result of a partnership between Ngāti Tūrangitukua and Taupō District Council, has been officially opened this weekend.

Named Te Mataapuna, the facility at Tūrangitukua Park was blessed at a dawn ceremony on Saturday hosted by Ngāti Tūrangitukua and attended by about 200 people, including Te Ariki Tā Tumu te Heuheu.

The procession through the building was led by seven-year-old Te Owai Boyce, a Ngāti Tūrangitukua descendant who plays for Tongariro Junior Rugby and Tūrangi Dambusters rugby league.

“Seeing the joy on the faces of the tamariki makes everything that we’ve gone through, the journey to this point and all the hui, all worth it. It’s something for them to enjoy and also for kaumātua, who now have a warm facility to watch them play,” says Te Takinga New, a Ngāti Tūwharetoa trust board member and co-chair of the Tūrangi co-governance committee involved in the $3.5 million development started in August 2022.

“Te Mataapuna is a facility for the whole community of the southern area and we’re looking forward to hosting district, regional and national events here.”

Ngāti Tūrangitukua led the dawn blessing of Te Mataapuna which was attended by about 200 people. Taupō District Council / Facebook

Te Mataapuna features artwork by local artists Te Maari and Mikaere Gardiner and carver Te Ururangi Rowe.

“The Tūrangi community has wanted a sports facility like this for some time. A place that could be an asset for locals and also somewhere to host visiting teams in an appropriate facility. I’d like to thank our partners on this project Ngāti Tūrangitukua for making this site available and for all of the work that has gone into making it a reality,” says Mayor David Trewavas.

“Thanks also to the contractors and creatives and council staff involved in making this a really fantastic and uniquely Tūrangi space – it’s something we can all be proud of.”

“It’s something we can all be proud of,” says Mayor David Trewavas. Taupō District Council / Facebook

The ongoing management of the facility is being undertaken by Te Mataapuna Collective made up of representatives of local sporting groups.