The Night Aotearoa Won More than a Rugby Match
“The Women’s Rugby World Cup was a milestone for seeing Māori culture and worldview deeply embedded in Aotearoa’s national identity,” Tāmaki Makaurau- Auckland-based photojournalist and writer Cornell Tukiri (Ngaati Hikairo, Ngaati Whaawhaakia, Kāi Tahu) says in an opinion piece for The Guardian.
“‘This was the greatest day of my life!’ exclaimed my seven-year-old son. Our whānau had just returned to our whare from Ngā Ana Wai Eden Park.
“We had witnessed the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup, where the Black Ferns had beaten the favourites and their arch-rivals, England. The rugby was pulsating, skilful, tough and uplifting. That evening felt like Aotearoa had won more than just the World Cup trophy; we were witnessing change,” Tukiri writes.
“Apart from the magnificent game itself, this match and tournament were a huge milestone for seeing Māori culture and worldview deeply embedded in Aotearoa’s national psyche and identity – not an add-on or token acknowledgment, but forming the very heart and forefront of our national game, the way we celebrate and who we are.”
Original article by Cornell Tukiri, The Guardian, November 17, 2022.