Interview with Tamati Tangohau-Gibson

Interview with Tamati Tangohau-Gibson

Recently we caught up with Tamati Tangohau-Gibson a young man who we’ve seen around the Ki o Rahi Nationals scene for many years, Tamati was, and probably still is a very good player who has now turned his hand to coaching.

We wanted to find out a little bit more about Tamati and his love for the game of Ki o Rahi as well as to gain some insight into Ki o Rahi in Gisborne, we also thought his experiences at the NZ Secondary School Nationals over the years might help some of the newer teams heading to Nationals for the first time!

Thanks Tamati, TKKM o Horouta Wananga and Lytton High School for a small insight into your world of Ki o Rahi!

2014 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals - Tamati Jump Shot

2014 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals - Tamati Jump Shot

Kia ora! 

Ko Tamati Tangohau-Gibson toku ingoa.

Tenei he uri no nga topito katoa o te Tairawhiti, tetahi o aku peka no roto o Te Whanau – a – Apanui, ano nei he pekanga toku no roto hoki o Ngai Tuhoe. 

How did you get into Ki o Rahi?
I started learning how to play Kiorahi during my time at Te Kura Reo Rua O Waikirikiri Primary school but it wasn’t till I got to Te Kura Tuarua o Ritana (Lytton High School) where my love for the game grew.

What years did you play at Nationals and how were those years?

Being under the tutelage of Tania Bartlett and John Poi, I was fortunate enough to play at the Kiorahi national competitions from the years of 2012 through to 2015.

It was always a challenge to make the top team at school and Kiorahi the game itself was evolving every year, we had a group of mates that loved being with each other all the time so this game was another vehicle for us to stay together and do the mahi whilst having fun.

What has been the highlight of your Ki o Rahi journey so far?

Every year I loved being with the Ritana Kiorahi team but my favourite year was in 2015 when we were lucky enough to take out the Kiorahi Nationals which at the time was based at the Gisborne Boys High Rectory Field here in Turanganui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne).

Unfortunately for myself I did not get to play in the final due to injury. But I knew right then and there that my job was to support my team mates in anyway I could, this year for me was the highlight of my kiorahi career, not only because we won but for me there is nothing better than being with a group of people that play for each other.

2018 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals - TKKM o Horouta Wananga

2018 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals - TKKM o Horouta Wananga

How did you get into coaching? How has that been?

As we skip another three years into 2018, I was approached by Matua Basil Morgan to come and help coach Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Horouta Wananga for Kiorahi.

At first I was hesitant on coaching but after the first training there wasn’t as many people as I thought that would’ve come, but after the second training I knew it was gonna be a fun ride.

We had three weeks of preparation and training leading up to the Tairawhiti Kiorahi regional competition in order to qualify for the Nationals. We were lucky and privileged enough to qualify and came third overall.

We had 4 weeks to prepare for the Kiorahi nationals and funnily enough it was here in Turanganui - a - Kiwa (Gisborne) on the same field where I got injured. Our main focus was to carry one of the main principles within Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Horouta Wananga “Whakaiti kia iti” wether we win or loose is to always remain humble.

We played a lot of different schools but the games I really enjoyed was when we played Nga Tapuwae in the semi and playing my old school Ritana for 3rd and 4th. In the end we were blessed and came third overall. This was such a buzz for us being a small school. As a coach I had so much fun!

What visions do you have for Ki o Rahi in the future?

As for the game itself I hope that one day Kiorahi either becomes compulsory for all schools in New Zealand or the sport becomes apart of the Olympics because it defiantly has the potential. 

2014 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals - Tamati Jump Shot 2

2014 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals - Tamati Jump Shot 2

Thanks again to Tamati, we wish you and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Horouta Wananga all the best at Nationals!

If anyone else would like to do an interview about their love for Ki o Rahi then please contact us here. It doesn’t matter if you are a coach, player, referee or supporter - we would love to hear from you :D