Iwi from nine top of the south marae are preparing to do battle in an inter-marae event reminiscent of the "pa wars" of the 1950s.
The inaugural Te Wero o Marae games will be held at Wakatu Marae in Nelson in September, with about 350 iwi members expected to take part.
Teams of six to 12 will descend on Nelson from Takaka, Motueka, Canvastown, Blenheim, Spring Creek, Grove Town and Picton.
The nine participating marae will compete in six disciplines - kapa haka, waka ama, ki-o-rahi, marae korero, mahi toi and kai reka.
All teams will consist of tamariki (children), rangatahi (teenagers), pakeke (adults) and kaumatua (elders), apart from those competing in ki-o-rahi and waka ama - the oldies get out of those two.
Wakatu Marae whanau ora kaimahi and Te Wero o Marae co-ordinator Huriana Lawrence said organising the event was a huge undertaking, but if it was successful they would aim to do more.
- The Marlborough Express