Ngā Manu a Tāne build up as part of hosts for Te Matatini - Feature

updated By Te Ao Māori News
Ngā Manu a Tāne, Waitaha Regionals 2014 - Photo / file
Ngā Manu a Tāne, established in 2006 proved a force to be reckoned with at the Waitaha Senior Kapa Haka Regionals after winning the overall competition. 
But despite being a team based in the South Island, their tutor Hohepa Waitoa says his group welcomes anyone from any tribe, hence the name, Ngā Manu a Tāne. 
Hohepa Waitoa says, “In 2004, that's when we started to discuss where our student who have finished school go. So Ngā Manu a Tane was born for those who wanted to keep afoot in the realm of Rehia.”
Junior Tawa says, “Jo (Hohepa) was the one who coined us.  He said it was related to the many different birds in the wild, each bird has its uniqueness, the majority of this group have links across the country.” 
Hohepa says, “For those who have been traversing the world, find a place they fit, but for some reason the heart still yearns to perform, so they come back.  Maybe that's why we are called Ngā Manu a Tane, we are from the four winds, and it's not just for Ngāi Tahu, for anyone from anywhere to do kapa haka.”
Merita Waitoa-Paku says, “This is our third Te Matatini so we are still newbies to this level of competition Te Matatini.  Even though we have performed for different groups we are still all learning.  But learning what we need to know, we need to have a strong performance no matter what, we must be great and show our greatness to the whole country.”
“It's been more that 35-40 years now since its return, that's why we are so excited, the ones who you young kids back then, now are grownups, they're parents now with kids.  They're excited because we haven't seen an event this big in Māoridom like this here for years.  Yes we have the cricket but Te Matatini means the world to us,” says Hohepa.
Merita says, “It's our time to give back to the nation, so you will hear in our items our call to everyone "Welcome, come to us in Christchurch to this beautiful land" and that's our main focus at Te Matatini, show our respect to the country, and to give them a warm welcome to Christchurch.”