It may have been cold out but it was tropical inside the Holiday Inn on Sunday as the 10th Te Arawa Kōeke (elder) Ball took place.

Polynesian prince and princess themed, the ball attracted Te Arawa from the coast to the lake and everywhere in between according to the master of ceremonies Kingi Biddle.

"The Holiday Inn was awash with colour and filled to capacity," Biddle said. "Bright coloured shirts and vibrant flowers were everywhere.

"There was some great music that had ball-goers off their feet and dancing and we had some amazing spot prizes too."

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Biddle said the ball was an annual opportunity for kōeke to get together, catch up, let their hair down, kick off their shoes and have a good time.

Attendees enjoy the ball. Photo / Cinzia Jonathan
Attendees enjoy the ball. Photo / Cinzia Jonathan

Te Arawa Lakes Trust chairman Sir Toby Curtis said the kōeke ball would be a hard function to replace should it come to an end.

"The ball is an opportunity for our people to come together and just be themselves," Curtis said. "It's a time when people can enjoy the best of each other, be natural with each other, and just have a good time."

He said one thing had crossed his mind during the ball.

The 10th annual ball was held on Sunday. Photo / Cinzia Jonathan
The 10th annual ball was held on Sunday. Photo / Cinzia Jonathan

"I was sitting there thinking how good we all looked for over-70s. People looked fit, healthy and in great shape."

Rotorua entertainer Krissie Knapp described the ball as beautiful.

"I had the same feeling as I did when I performed last year," Knapp said. "For me going into the Te Arawa Kōeke Ball is like sneaking into a night club where you're the youngest there and everyone is having a fantastic time."

There were spot prizes at the ball. Photo / Cinzia Jonathan
There were spot prizes at the ball. Photo / Cinzia Jonathan

She said the prizes handed out were for things like being the last person on the dance floor or being the best dancer, and when awarded, were coupled with lots of laughter.

"The more sombre side is seeing the people we have lost, even in the past year, but they are acknowledged and always part of the festivities."

Knapp said she would always love performing for "our people".

Sir Toby Curtis (left) and mayor Steve Chadwick (right) at the ball. Photo / Cinzia Jonathan
Sir Toby Curtis (left) and mayor Steve Chadwick (right) at the ball. Photo / Cinzia Jonathan