Kahungunu Haka: Gangs, Oranga Tamariki, newbies and next hosts

updated By Aroha Mane

Fourteen teams took to the stage today at the Ngāti Kahungunu kapa haka regionals in Whakaoriori (Masterton). All competed to win one of four places to represent the iwi at Te Matatini 2021. The final team to take the stage this afternoon is Tamatearikinui, fondly known as the team of the late Piri Sciascia. 

The famous song Kōtiro Māori provided a fond memory of the Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine composer the late Tommy Taurima.

Hosts for the competition Rangiuru ki te Wairarapa offered an alternative option for their relations in the gangs.

“The gang culture is prolific in this region and most of them are my family, we even have members in our team. So our haka is about encouraging my family to turn to our Māori world,” Rangiuru ki Wairarapa leader Te Korou Whangataua says.

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga talked about the impact Oranga Tamariki has had on their group.

“We want them to get their act together. They need to identify that their perspective is non-Māori and maybe they should consider a Māori centered and Māori led view,” Ngāti Kahungunu leader Mahinarangi Huata-Harawira says.

First-timers to the competition, Kahukuranui made an impressionable mark for their first performance.

“It's done, it’s awesome and my spirit is content, it was lit,” Kahukuranui brother and sister leaders Raukura and Tapeta Tupura say.

Ngāti Ranginui welcomed their kin to Tauranga Moana for the next regionals in 2022.

“Our Tākitimu kin, we welcome you to your ocean, to where the mauri of your waka resides. Come and join us in Tauranga Moana,” Ngāti Ranginui member Wiremu Toma says.

Prizegiving takes place at 7pm tonight where four teams will be announced to represent Ngāti Kahungunu.