Pōhiri kicks off 42nd Tūhoe Ahurei in Ruatoki

Thousands are expected to attend the 42nd Hui Ahurei ā Tūhoe in Ruatoki this easter weekend.

This morning Tūhoe groups from around the country will be welcomed on to Te Rewarewa marae, officially opening the event.

Karakia will commence after the pōhiri and rōpū will return taonga from the previous Tūhoe Ahurei in 2013.

Photo taken by John Miller

The three-day festival is expected to draw around 20,000 from all areas of the country and abroad.

The event is a chance to strengthen the identity of urban Tūhoe and for Tūhoe descendants to come together and celebrate their unique identity.

The first Hui Ahurei was held in Rotorua at Mātaatua Marae in 1971.

Photo taken by John Miller 

Since then, Te Hui Ahurei ā Tūhoe has grown to become the biggest and longest standing iwi festival in the country.

There will be kapa haka performances, sports, debates, stalls and live entertainment.

A total of 13 children’s groups and 15 senior groups are scheduled to take the Ahurei stage.

Te Hui Ahurei ā Tūhoe is a bi-annual event however the festival was last held 3 years ago. This year also marks the first Hui Ahurei for Tūhoe post-settlement.

Te Hui Ahurei a Tūhoe will take place on March 25-27 in Ruatoki.