New & experienced groups to represent Te Whanganui-a-Tara at Te Matatini 2017

By Tamati Tiananga

Ngā Taonga Mai Tawhiti is to represent Wellington at next year's Te Matatini, they're one of three groups to qualify.

Nine groups took to the stage to battle it out in the hope of getting a placing to represent Wellington at next year's Te Matatini.

The three groups advancing to Te Matatini 2017 are the winners of the Te Atua section. First placed, Ngā Taonga Mai Tawhiti, Tū Te Maungaroa came second and Ngā Kāwai Hekenga placed third.  

The winning group, Ngā Taonga Mai Tawhiti is tutored by Wiremu Kerekere Wehi.

"The performance firstly was about kinship and competition was secondary.  I pray to the lord to always give his blessings."

He adds, "Very happy, if by any chance we get to go, this is humbling."

Te Rau Taiohi won the Whitireia section of the competition.  Their focus now is to recruit new members. 

Te Rau Taiohi was formed in 2007 and after a short absence, they decided to enter the competitive section.

Rahera Davies explains, "The focus of our performance is to support and get more teams to qualify and represent at Te Matatini.  We also want to create a platform for Te Rau Taiohi to build a strong group for future competitions."

Many of Te Rau Taiohi's performers were first-timers on the stage.  Davies says, "Only four members of the group have performed at regional level, in secondary competitions and senior competitions.  In saying this, I believe our group showed maturity."

The next senior regional kapa haka competition will be held in Ngāti Kahungunu next weekend.