Pōhiri signals the start of Te Matatini 2015

By Te Ao Māori News

Today, top haka groups from 13 regions were welcomed as they arrived at the Te Matatini venue.   Amongst them Māoridom's highest dignitaries, from King Tuheitia to parliamentarians.

Repaying the nation for its kindness was the sentiment behind Ngāi Tahu's hosting of Te Matatini this year.

This was reflected in today’s pōhiri, as Ngāi Tahu chose not to challenge, but rather to thank and honour their visitors.

In true Ngāi Tahu fashion, each region received pounamu as a gift during the pōhiri.

Rātana band members were also part of the procession, starting off the ceremony.

Most importantly, Te Matatini taonga were returned and those who have passed on from various regions were remembered.