Tasman 'showing disrespect for the Maori language' – rugby union explains 'Mako' renaming

Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Tony Lewis has explained the decision that sees the Mitre 10 Cup side renamed simply "Mako".

Having been the Makos for the past 11 years, Tasman have today confirmed they will be ditching the s at the end of their name. 

Speaking to TVNZ 1's Te Karere, Lewis said that the decision was made to honour the union's Maori heritage.

"We've been working with the eight iwi at the top of the South (Island) for the past 18 months," he began.

"It became clear from those conversations that we, as a union - and probably more important as a sport - were showing disrespect for the Maori language."

"Once it was pointed out that there was no 's' in the Maori language, it was a pretty easy decision from a board to make that call."

Union CEO Tony Lewis detailed the decision that sees the Mako drop the 's' from their name. Source: 1 NEWS

Watch: Alama Ieremia backing Polynesian talent to return Auckland's glory days

New Auckland rugby coach Alama Ieremia says that he's looking forward to utilising the union's vast array of Pacific talent, as he leads the side into the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup.

With his most recent head coaching role coming with Manu Samoa, Ieremia is well qualified to understand how to work with Polynesian players, something that Auckland has an abundance of.

"There's obviously a lot of Polynesians, a lot of other players as well that we've got to look after," Ieremia told 1 NEWS.

"But certainly the Polynesian factor, I've had experience pushing the right buttons I suppose. Hopefully I can share that with this particular group."

"It's an excitement to get right, and I believe I have the skills to bring that together."

Auckland narrowly avoided relegation to the second-tier this year, and will be hoping Ieremia can turn the struggling team's fortunes around. 

The new Auckland coach will use his knowledge from coaching Manu Samoa in next year's Mitre 10 Cup. Source: 1 NEWS



Former All Blacks centre Alama Ieremia confirmed as new Auckland rugby coach

Former All Blacks centre Alama Ieremia has today been confirmed as the new coach of Auckland for the Mitre 10 Cup, taking over the struggling province on a three-year deal.

After previous coach Nick White left the role at the end of a 2017 season that saw Auckland narrowly avoid relegation to the Mitre 10 Cup second-tier championship, Ieremia will take over as head coach, following an independent review.

The 47-year old was previously an assistant at the Hurricanes, and was most recently in charge of Manu Samoa, a position he left after a disappointing 2017. 

He said he was looking forward to his new challenge of restoring Auckland to their former glory.

"Auckland is a proud and passionate union and are committed to creating a successful future," Ieremia said in a statement.

"Auckland Rugby is steeped in history. The size of the union, the challenges of getting the best out of our players – these are some of the things that attracted me to the job and I'm really excited about it."

Speaking about Ieremia's appointment, Auckland Rugby CEO Jarrod Bear spoke highly of the 30-Test All Blacks midfielder.

"Alama Ieremia is a coach with experience across NPC, Super, and international rugby environments and has a clear vision and professional attitude which will position him well in leading the future success of the Mitre 10 Cup team," he said.

Ieremia's assistant coaches will be named next year. 

The 30-Test All Black was today confirmed to take over Auckland in 2018. Source: 1 NEWS