The Mātaatua region is known for its top kapa haka teams.

The weekend saw a fierce battle between the teams all vying for one of five spots to qualify for next year’s national competition, Te Matatini. The regional competition took place in Te Teko and was hosted by Ngāti Awa ki Rangitaiki.

Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti were the winners of the Mātaatua region.

Tutor Te Kahautu Maxwell says their performance was about revitalising and rejuvenating Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti.

“Heoi anō ko te kaupapa nui ko te whakarauora i a Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti. Tā mātou mahinga ki roto o Ngāti Kahungunu i tērā tau kāre i eke. Heoi i tēnei tau kua hoki mai mātou ki te whakarauora, whakahauora i a Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti.”

 

Tauira Mai Tawhiti has returned to the very spot where they first performed 12 years ago, placing second overall.

Tutor and male leader, Cy McLeod says their performance was about bringing with them their loved ones who performed with them the last time they competed in Te Teko.

“Hoki mai mātou ki konei ka hoki a mahara te kapa ki wā mātau mate ki a Awi, ki a Uncle Kerby, ki a Carlos, rātou ko Uncle Ned rātou tokowhā i tū ki konei i te tau 2006 i te taha o tō mātou kapa.”

Te Whānau a Apanui placed third overall, and male leader, Tamati Waaka says they are looking towards the future.

“Kua pū pea te rūhā o te hunga pēnei i a au. Ahakoa tamariki tonu taku āhua kua eke haere, kua tū au i te taha o taku tama. Nō reira he tohu pea tērā kia whakairihia te piupiu engari ko te mīharo, taea e mātou te whakapakari i wā mātou tamariki kia kawea e rātou ngā tūranga i a mātou i roto i ngā 20 tau kua pahure. Nō reira taku whakaaro i eke ngā rangatahi.”

The descendants of Tauranga Moana, Tūtara Kauika ki Rangataua connected the ties to the Mātaatua region and placed fourth this year.

Ruatoki took the last spot to go as representatives for Mātaatua at next year’s national competition in Wellington.

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