New Zealand Rugby’s provincial unions have signed off the $200 million Silver Lake deal.
The 26 provincial unions cast 90 votes via secret ballot, with only one vote against the deal, at NZ Rugby’s Auckland headquarters.
NZ Rugby chairman Stewart Mitchell said it was a “monumental moment” in the history of NZ rugby.
The deal will see $37m distributed immediately with the 14 NPC teams receiving $1m each, 12 heartland unions $500k each ($6m total), Māori rugby $2m, community clubs $7.5m, Players’ Association $5m
In addition to the $200m deal, there will be an opportunity for NZ institutional investors to raise $62.5m and $100m. If there is insufficient institutional demand, Silver Lake would increase its position to ensure a minimum capital raise of $62.5m.
Haka the real challenge at Māori rugby league tournament
A total of 38 teams from around the country and Australia made their way to Rotorua over Queen’s Birthday weekend to play in this year’s NZ Māori Rugby League Tournament for Under 15s, Under 17s and Under 19-year-olds.
But it’s not all about the sport Maori vs Ireland Rugby .
This tournament has served as a springboard to developing these players in Te Reo Māori and Māori culture, with haka playing a big part in the competition, with judges and an award for best haka among all teams.
It’s more than just a rugby league tournament, it’s a place to grow the Māori language and culture.
“The most important thing that comes to mind is that football is secondary and haka is primary,” haka senior judge Hemana Waaka says.
The jersey has mana
The first tournament was in 1993 in Wellington with a handful of teams and now there are 38 teams – and three judges for haka.
“Their job is to judge haka for its excitement and passion, actions and unity,” NZ Māori Rugby League director Titia Graham says.
From the haka the crowd will know their district, iwi and hapū, he says. “They show off their iwi affiliations and the jersey they wear represents their tribe and marae.
“It also states their haka in their tribe is alive, and also their Māori language,” Waaka says.
At this tournament the overall winning haka throughout all grades was taken by Taranaki Whanui, who took home the NZ Māori Rugby League Trophy for best haka 2022.
NRL star, Kiwi Adam Blair (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa) has always been keen on haka, “and what I have actually seen today, especially the more specific and the more passionate and not trying to drag out hakas are the ones that are the good ones”, he says.
Rangatahi players Waikare Ratima from Rangitāne and Te Awa Daniela from Waikato acknowledged that haka was a way to strengthen the mind and body before playing the game. And they also saw it as a way to connect with their ancestors and to draw down their strength going into battle on the field.