The people of Tūhoe celebrated their first Te Hui Ahurei a Tūhoe outside of their tribal region over the Easter holiday period.

The Ahurei was held in Rotorua that celebrates that Tūhoe tribal identity through kapa haka, sport and debates.

Organiser Te Orohi Callaghan says despite the worries, the hard work has paid off.

“Rua marama kāore e moe te whakaaro kei te tika tēnei mahi, kei te tika tērā mahi ko ērā katoa ināianei ka rongo i te wairua Tūhoe i roto o Te Arawa.”

According to netball participant Anitewhatanga Tinsley, win or lose it’s all about whakawhanaungatanga.

“Ki ahau nei kei te kite i tērā e whakatinana ana i tēnei rā i te taha poitarawhiti me te whutupōro.”

At the rugby, over 50 participants Hewa Wiremu says the young and old playing together.

“E whā pea mātou ngā over 50’s kei roto i tō mātou tīma kei te kī kē mai ngā tāngata ki a mātou kei te purei tonu kē koutou mea atu au hei āwhina rā i wā tātou tamariki.”

At the debates, judge Karlite Rangihau says the language was authentically Tūhoe.

“Tukua te reo kia rere nē? Anā, i pai te rere o te reo, i tau te reo, ākene, ko te mea iti o tērā, kia kaua e puta he kupu Pākehā.”

According to gatherings from Te Hui Ahurei i Tūhoe 13,000 people were present and 85,000 viewers tuned in on live stream.

In two years' time, Te Waimana Kāku will host the event.

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