Four teams will represent Tainui at the National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Competition in Hastings next year.
Yesterday, Te Wharekura o Rākaumanga, Te Wharekura o Ngā Taiātea, Tai Wānanga and Te Maurea Whiritoi won the top places, with overall winner going to Ngā Taiātea.
Te Wharekura o Rākaumanga won last year's nationals in Gisborne. So there was a lot of expectation on them to repeat that.
According to Keihana Kingi-Takoko, “This is our nationals, here at home. Here we are judged by our nannies and papas, so this is the true test for us.”
Ngā Taiatea won the nationals in 2012. They missed out on the finals in Gisborne but made an emphatic comeback, pulling all the tricks out of the bag.
"The level of competition is high. I've heard about new teams coming in and they're great," says Te Uranga o te Rā Walker.
No doubt these Tainui haka teams will display some fierce competition next year.