(It is believed that parts of this article are fictitious.)
Ki-o-rahi is a ball sport played by Māori in New Zealand. It is played with a small round ball called a 'ki'. The game is not widely known but is played in Northland and in scattered locations throughout the country. The game resembles Australian Rules Football. Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones, and score points by touching the 'pou' (boundary markers) and hitting a central 'tupu' or target.
Ki-o-rahi has been chosen to represent New Zealand by global fast-food chain McDonald's as part of its 'Passport to Play' programme to teach physical play activities in 31,000 American schools. The programme will give instruction in 15 ethnic games to seven million primary school children.
According to Henry Anderson, kaiwhakahaere (Māori sport co-ordinator) for Sport Northland, ki-o-rahi is a traditional Māori game that has been 'handed down over the centuries'. Hako Brown, a physical education teacher at Kerikeri High School, who was taught the game in the late 1970s on his marae in the south Waikato, described it as 'an indigenous game imbued with tikanga Māori with a very long history ... of a pre-European nature." References to the game have yet to be found in the published literature about the Māori. Former chief executive of the Māori Language Commission, Dr. Patu Hohepa, a noted Māori academic, was quoted as saying "We cannot track it in the traditional Maori world... at this present time it is a mystery." Nonetheless he found the idea (that this was a traditional game) "fabulously exciting".
- Jones, Renee (October 08, 2005). McDonald's adopts obscure Maori ball game. New Zealand Herald. Retrieved on 2007-07-30.
- McDonald's Passport to Play Kicks Off in 31,000 Schools. McDonald's Electronic Press Kit. Retrieved on 2007-07-30.
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