The first step to Te Matatini 2019 has been taken.

Wellington held its regional kapa haka competition, the first of 13 districts to do so.

Two veteran groups will return to the nationals yet again but they'll be joined by a new and emerging group.

Ngā Taonga Mai Tawhiti is heading back to Te Matatini, as the winners of the Wellington regional competition.

The descendants of Tūhoe, Tū Te Maungaroa brought the ways of Te Urewera onto the stage claiming the second sot to represent Te Whanganui a Tara at the national competition.

Coming in third, was the new kids on the block, Ngā Uri Taniwha.

They brought passion to the stage claiming a place to head to the nationals for the first time ever.

Wellington will host Te Matatini next year and organiser Te Teira Davis hopes it’ll be the best one yet.

“He nui ngā mahi kai mua i te rohe mō Te Whanganui a Tara. Engari kei konei a Te Ātiawa, kei konei a Ngāti Toa. He nui ngā iwi kei konei hei kaupare ake i ngā āhuatanga kei mua. Ko tā mātou ngā wawata i konei i te Whanganui a Tara nā kia noho ko tēnei o ngā Matatini, te Matatini o ngā Matatini.”

We now head to the Mataatua region as in two weeks’ time ehrtr the regional competition will be held in Te Teko.

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