Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rugby Winner

Ruatoria, East Cape. May 2009 Ajr
Tokomaru Bay, East Cape. May 2009 Ajr
I read a couple of days ago that Malcolm Mulholland’s book, “Beneath the Maori Moon: An Illustrated History of Maori Rugby,” (Huia Publishers) has won Best Maori Sports Book in Massey University’s inaugural Nga Kupu Ora Book Awards. Oddly just minutes before I read the small item in the newspaper, I had selected out these two photographs of the signs at two East Cape rugby clubs I drove by on my recent travels. I had also stopped at a Maori rugby game at Hick’s Bay the day before and had been amazed by the huge crowd of supporters gathered around the edge of the field. So obviously, despite the NZ Rugby Football Union’s decision to suspend all NZ Maori games in 2009, there is still huge support for Maori rugby. But I don’t know enough about rugby, nor the politics of the game, to comment on that decision. But I do think it’s admirable that Mulholland has produced an excellent visual and verbal record of almost a century of New Zealand Maori rugby. Mulholland is an editor at Te Putahi a Toi, Maori Studies at Massey University in Palmerston North. He edited ‘State of the Maori Nation’ (Reed Publishing) in 2006.

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