Ngā Tumanako celebrate 10 years - Feature

By Taroi Black

Tomorrow, the masses will head to Hagley Park for the 2015 Te Matatini competition.  Tonight we feature Auckland-based group Ngā Tūmanako.

Taroi Black was fortunate enough to go behind the scenes and follow their build-up toward this week's showdown.

My group, Ngā Tūmanako, will head to Canterbury tomorrow, to the heat of the battle.

Our journey has almost come to an end. Win or lose, Ngā Tūmanako will continue to battle on. 

Tutor, Jade Maipi says, “I'm one of the tutors of Ngā Tūmanako.  One of things I focus on and I tell the performers, their role is to bring to life each song, to bring out the beauty of every song they perform.”

Performer Mahanga Pihama says, “Most of us went to the same school at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae.  We didn't leave the circle, or that triangle!

You don't often see elderly performers in our group.  Some of us look so young.  We have to grow facial hair so the judges don't mistake us for a primary school team.  That might just apply to me.”

Another tutor of the group, Kawariki Morgan says, “That's what's been said.  Some have said that we look too young.  I think that's just an excuse.”

Performer, Makoha Nightingale Pene says, “My name is Makoha Nightingale Pene.  I'm from Tainui.  My iwi is Ngāti Haua and my hapū is Ngāti Werewere.  I debuted at the Te Matatini competition in Rotorua.

Kapa haka is a way for me to stay true to my Māori side and to the traditions of my ancestors.”

Maipi says, “We've been going for 10 years now.  Our main goal is to make it to the finals."

 What has Ngā Tūmanako achieved in the last 10 years?

Mahanga Pihama and Te Raina Kaipara say, “There have been so many changes. I just hope that we've grown.  It's no longer a hope, we've made it.”

“I love kapa haka with a passion.  Kapa haka is the ultimate for me,” says Makoha Nightingale Pene.

Maipi and Morgan say, “From the tutors of Ngā Tumanako, we would like thank all our performers, cooks and especially our kids.

We would also like to thank our wider group of Ngā Tūmanako as we celebrate our 10th year.”