Harko Brown, his daughters Billie and Yves and stepson Joshua Rewha return to the Far North on Saturday having completed their mission to represent Maori and New Zealand at the International Dieppe Kite Festival in France.

"It's a huge event," Mr Brown said.

The kite festival attracts up to 700,000 visitors over eight days.

"We have flown Maori kites, we performed haka heading the kite flyer parade with guests of honour Canada through the streets of Dieppe, run kite and Maori games workshops.''


That parade lasted two hours, had 300 kite flyers take part, and was accompanied by Brazilian drummers and musicians from 45 countries.

Last week Mr Brown and his kite crew visited La Providence College where they spoke for an hour about Maori culture, taught songs, and introduced the 100 students to traditional games such as ki-o-rahi, poi toa, toa-meke, kukumamau and hakariki.

The biggest of their five kites, of the tuwharakiarahi design called Te Ara Wairua, painted by Northland artists Theresa Reihana, was displayed in the festival's exhibition marquee, alongside the works of Canadian First Nations painter Dominique Normans.

Billie, Yves and Josh also played in the world invitation ki-o-rahi team versus France, two matches attracting massive attention.

France won the first game 35-27, the 'world team' - including players from South Africa, Guatemala, Holland and Germany - won the second, 48-30.

"Our ropu (group) performed during the mayoral welcome," Mr Brown said.

He said there were many youngsters streaming through their appointed booths while they taught Maori games, flew kites and gave performances.

"The town put on a special VIP do on the last night for our team, we've had quite an impact over the time we have been here."

Last month Mr Brown launched his book, Nga Taonga Takaro II: The Matrix, which details the whakapapa and contemporary uses for more than 50 traditional Maori games and activities.

Mr Brown is a figurehead in the revival of such sports as ki-o-rahi.