Who Will Be the Ultimate Maori Warrior?

The top five challengers vying for the title of ultimate Maori warrior are through to the final rounds of Toa O Aotearoa – the new and exciting reality sports show screening on Maori Television every Monday at 9.30 PM.

They are:

Tipene Rangihuna (Ngati Porou) from Wellington;
Logan Pokai (Ngati Porou, Ngapuhi) from Gisborne;
Terry Watts (Ngapuhi) from Whangarei;
Jeremy Murray (Tainui, Ngai Te Rangi) from the Waikato;
and Owen Wells (Te Arawa) from Rotorua.

TOA O AOTEAROA takes 10 warriors, already skilled in the ancient taiaha, away from everyday life to a secret location where they face gruelling daily tests of strength, discipline, mental and physical stamina, and agility.

The winner of each challenge chooses an opponent to go up against the loser in the wheiwheia (one-on-one fight) of mau rakau (wielding the taiaha). This battle is held on a specially-constructed marae, where traditionally these disputes were resolved.

The fighters score points for full hits to the body, limbs and head, and the warrior with the least amount of points at the end of three, three-minute bouts is deemed to have reached his limits. There’s only one rule – when the judge says stop, the fighters must obey.

The warrior left standing at the end of the 13-part series takes home a $10,000 prize and the title of TOA O AOTEAROA champion. The sensei/judge is Wetini Mitai Ngatai (Te Arawa) and the referee is Tukiterangi Curtis (Ngati Rongomai) who both hail from Rotorua.

TOA O AOTEAROA is in reo Maori and English, and fully subtitled so it is accessible to all viewers. The official website for the show is www.nztoa.co.nz.

Step back in time and into the ring as the final top five challengers battle for the title of ultimate Maori warrior in TOA O AOTEAROA – screening on Maori Television every Monday at 9.30 PM.

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