Mātaatua regional kapa haka festival sets high bar

On day two of the Mātaatua regional kapa haka festival in Te Teko, Te Whānau a Apanui opened the competition with a polished performance featuring some new faces.

Male leader Tamati Waaka thanked the young ones who have joined his side in the group.

“I'm one of the elders in the team today," he says.

"I performed with my son. Maybe I should retire.”

Being first team up, the East Coast group set ta high standard in a competition that is notorious for fierce competition.

CEO of Te Matatini Carl Ross says the performances were of a high calibre.

“We have seen the power and skill in the performances on stage. It's very exciting to see.” 

In the last Te Matatini, Mātaatua had two teams that made the top nine. Today, 18 teams have performed and hope to make the top five.

One of those teams vying for a top spot is a family based group Ōhinemataroa ki Ruatāhuna. Male leader for the group, Ngatai Rangihau, was happy with their performance today.

“I feel we have completed what we set out to do, which was to remember those who have passed away," Rangihau says.

"Once our other group has finished then we have achieved what we set out to do.”

The next Mātaatua Regional kapa haka festival will take place in 2020 and will be hosted by Te Whakatōhea.