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Classic Kiwi diving manoeuvre 'manu bomb' forbidden at Hawke's Bay pools

The manu - a classic Kiwi dive bomb resulting in a huge splash - is causing a splash of a different kind in the Hawke's Bay after being banned at local pools.

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The origins of the manu are unclear, but in places like Hawke’s Bay they're extremely popular. Source: Seven Sharp

"The manu is the most popular because it's very technical — very, very technical," Hastings District councillor Peleti Oli told Seven Sharp.

"But when executed in the right way, it's very elegant and looks amazing.

"When kids see someone execute or perform a manu bomb perfectly and it goes very high, he becomes a superstar in the pool, so to speak."

The manu was invented by an anonymous aquatic athlete at least 30 years ago, but could be older.

"People claim that it came from Māngere, in South Auckland, which they call the Māngere Bomb, but some also claim it's from Huntly and the Hamilton area. They call it the manu bomb over there," Oli said.

Despite its murky origins, one thing is clear - they're now banned all across the southern Hawke's Bay region.

Local kids must now walk to the Ngaruroro River, located eight kilometres on foot from Flaxmere, where the manu is most popular.

"If that doesn't tell you we love doing manu bombs, I don't know what it does," he said.

The Hastings District Council told Seven Sharp in a statement that they are currently reviewing their aquatic facilities, but would like to make bombing available.

Hastings Top 10 Holiday Park bent the rules yesterday as part of an experiment — an ambitious proposal to make the world's first manu pool.

"The very first manu pool — the first of its kind in the world — in Flaxmere," Oli said.

"If we were able to get our own pool in Flaxmere, you could just leave us alone. We'll have fun on our own.

"I'm a 37-year-old man and I still enjoy doing a manu bomb, so you can do it from when you're young to you're old. It's a Kiwi thing. That's why we love it: because it's ours."