The New Zealand Parliamentary First XV rugby team will take on the Cook Islands Parliamentary squad today in Muri. 22102803
The New Zealand Parliamentary First XV rugby team will take on their Cook Islands counterpart in what is anticipated to be an entertaining game in the spirit of fun, friendship and fraternity today at 4pm at Nukupure Park in Muri.
“trim” Kiwi squad which includes former All Black Tamati Ellison visited Apii
Avarua with donations of books and sports merchandise.
welcomed their guests with joyful songs and excitement in meeting overseas “rugby
players” and parliamentarians.
Leader of the New
Zealand First XV, Mike Woodhouse, the National Member of Parliament “based down
in the deep South in Dunedin”, is on his visit to the Cook Islands, despite
being involved with the team for the past 14 years.
“This has been
really exciting for me, an opportunity to visit a place I’ve heard a lot about
particularly from Sean and good friend Alfred Ngaro (former NZ MP). And so far
it has been fantastic.”
looking forward to the rugby game, “with some trepidation, you get to a certain
age when the game gets a bit harder on the body but it’s played in really good
“We have been
doing this for 27 years now and taking the team across all corners of New
Zealand and into the Pacific.”
The team raised “probably
close to one million” for charities around New Zealand and in the Pacific.
At their last
event they raised $60,000.
“So there is a
fellowship approach and also an outreach approach,” said Woodhouse.
“I find that
people don’t often get to connect with MPs on a level like that and then they
think that ‘you fellas are pretty good, you’re not like what we see on the TV’.
“And that’s really
an important part of our parliamentary democracy - we come from the communities
we serve and this is a nice way to reconnect with them,” he said.
Once every four
years their team attends the Parliamentary World Cup which is hosted by the
country which hosts the World Rugby World Cup.
The team had
travelled to England, South Africa and three years ago to Japan where they won
the trophy back.
Cook Islander Sean
Rota is part of the Kiwi management team.
“This is our
fourth rugby parliamentary trip to Rarotonga, we haven’t been in a while and after
the pandemic we thought we would bring a group of MPs back and reconnect with
the Pacific,” said Rota.
Williamson is assisting with the selection of the Cook Islands squad.
An advocate for men’s
health, Williamson would like to encourage more men to “keep moving and invest
in healthy living so they can live longer and mobile lives”.