Twinning in New Zealand – Turakina Highland Games

Twinning and Links: The Grants march at Turakina, NZ

The Grants march in the Games at Turakina, NZ

Turakina is a small village in the western Rangitiki district of New Zealand’s North Island, midway between Wanganui and Palmerston North. A committee member of the Abernethy Highland Games, who lived his youth in the district, visited the Turakina Highland Games in 2004. He was warmly welcomed by the local Grants and subsequently it was agreed that 2 of the oldest Games, 125 and 140 years respectively, located at opposite ends of the world, would establish twinning links.

What does Turakina mean?

The Maori explorer Hau named Turakina on his journey south when he felled a log to cross the river [from “Turaki” – to fell].

Egg and Spoon Race in Turankina

Egg and Spoon Race in Turankina

The first European settlers arrived from Scotland by ships into Wellington and later walked 150km up the beaches to Turakina, following the land purchase negotiated by Sir Donald McLean, from the Ngati Apa people in 1849. At its peak in the late 1880’s, Turakina and the surrounding area boasted 3 churches, several schools, businesses, industries, 2 railway stations, 4 hotels and an illicit whisky distillery. At that period it was a prosperous and busy township and the Annual Highland Games was established in 1864. They are New Zealand’s oldest on-land sporting event.

The Turakina Highland Games take place on the last Saturday of January.

Links to Brigadoon (Australia) Highland Games!

Twinning and Links: against the clock - Placing the Stones of Manhood

Against the clock – Placing the Stones of Manhood

Another Southern Hemisphere Highland Games we have made connections with through our 2013 Games Chieftan, the Rev Jim McEwan, is in Australia – The Bundanoon Highland Gathering.
Do have a look at their very interesting site which records the very different way they conduct their Games from Abernethy. This is when Bundanoon becomes Brigadoon for the day!

Abernethy Highland Games Association
Nethy Bridge, Inverness-shire, PH25 3DA. Scotland
a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation
registered charity number SC 042969