Ngā Waihotanga: Pātea legacy continues at Aotea Regionals

By Aroha Mane

This coming Saturday the Aotea regionals will be hosted at the TSB Hub in Hawera. One of the new teams are the students of the late Hui Kahu, the famous nanny in the music video ‘Poi E.’ Te Ao went to visit the team at Wai-o-Turi Marae in Pātea. Here is the story of Ngā Waihotanga.

Poi E by the Patea Māori Club. Source/YouTube.

"Taranaki is the mountain, Pātea is the river, Aotea is the waka and Turi is the ancestor to whom many descend from. This group belongs to the people of Ruanui, Ruahine and Ngā Rauru," Kaiāwhina Archie Hurinui says.

"The group name is self-explanatory, they are the inheritors, Ngā Waihotanga. They are the ones who have inherited their ancestor's knowledge," Rangiwahia Wano, Kaitātaki Tane for Ngā Waihotanga, says,

"The members of this group belong to Uncle Huirangi Waikerepuru and the late Aunty Hui Kahu. She was in the iconic 'Poi E' music video. Most of these performers learnt kapa haka from her. She was instrumental in re-enforcing our dialect. In a name the letter 'H' is used but everything else the letter 'H' is dropped," Hurinui says, who describes himself as "the group's biggest fan”. 

"This group was set up by my children and were the last wishes of my son who passed away from cancer. He had a vision to start this team to help grow the Aotea region."

Wano says, "Most of our members live outside of the region. They come from all over the country from areas like Hauraki, Waikato, Auckland and Tauranga. This group is a way of bringing them all home."

Ngā Putiputi Akapita was raised near Ngā Kāhui Maunga and is Kaihaka for the group. "The reason why I've joined the team is to support my friends and my relations. It's also a way of reviving the lessons and legacies left behind by our departed loved ones. We want to represent all that they are on stage."

Hurinui says, "I can see the excitement, the passion and determination in my children who have waited for this opportunity to come to them because they've trained and they've practised long and hard to be able to show how good they are."

"Our Taranakitanga is about honour, our feathers signify our achievements and even though we are proud we remain humble," Wano says.