The Waitaha Regional Kapa Haka Competitions were held over the weekend.

It was extra special for Te Ahikāroa as they were celebrating their silver anniversary.

According to tutor Tauira Takurua, Te Ahikāroa is a fire that's been burning for 25 years.

“Koinā te tau, 93, koinā to mātou tīmatatanga i te pāpara rā.”

Te Ahikāroa was formed as a means of keeping te ao Māori alive in their families while living in Christchurch.

Upon watching the group grow over four generations, Takurua says they've achieved what they set out to do.   

“Ināianei, ko ngā tamariki, ngā mokopuna a te kuia nei kei te tū i tēnei rangi, me kī, e toru ngā reanga whakatipu kei roto i Te Ahikāroa i tēnei wā.”

And Te Ahikāroa is stoked after receiving their birthday present on Saturday - they came third which means that, once again, they get to represent the region at nationals.

The youngest of the winning teams, Te Poutūmāro, came in at second.

Tutor Tom Alesana says while they are happy, they are learning every step of the way.

“He tino uaua tēnā mō mātou, kia tino pakeke te tū nā te rangatahi tonu o ngā kaihaka, me mātou hoki ngā pouako, nā reira koinā te whāinga nui, kia pakeke ake tō mātou tau, ia te tau, a te tau.”

But Ngā Manu a Tāne came out on top for the third competition in a row.

Hohepa Waitoa tutor of Ngā Manu a Tāne says their performance was dedicated to a couple of people who have passed away.

“Ko tā mātou he whakanui i tētahi tino tokorua i kaingākaunuitia e mātou, ka riro i a mātou i tērā tau, nō reira i te nuinga o te wā, ko ngā whakaaro kei roto i a au, kua ea.”

For now, they can all rest up before they begin preparing to head to Te Matatini in Wellington next year.

LIKE