Taniwharau haka group make a special comeback

By Heeni Brown

In support of the Māori King's Coronation address, former senior kapa haka national winners Taniwharau Kapa Haka Group took to the stage at Tūrangawaewae Marae.

Taniwharau hasn't had an official performance for over 10 years and were seen today entertaining the crowd with a repertoire of timeless classics.

Taniwharau member Jason Kereopa says, "The team has been in retirement since the death of Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu. The last time we performed was in Palmerston North for the 2007 Te Matatini national competition. Here we are reawakening the group."

It's a dedication to those long-standing members who have passed on in the last year. One of them being Kiritokia e te Tomairangi Paki, performing arts stalwart and former head of Taniwharau. 

Te Iti Kahurangi tutor Kingi Kiriona who performed for Taniwharau today says, "All Tainui groups have come under the umbrella of Taniwharau to pay homage to Tomairangi who is no longer here with us. But we'll always remember her through her songs and the great works she left for us."  

Kereopa says, "We all know our Royal House is in mourning, our King is in mourning."

"All our esteemed members of Taniwharau died, beginning with our elder Te Oraiti who was for a long time at the core, the heart of our group. We're still in mourning. After her was our Te Arawa elder Napi (Waka) who made a huge contribution to the group. Te Arawa are in mourning and then back to our Waahi Pā home. Tomairangi left us at the beginning of the year and our beloved elder Tohehaia in the last few months." 

Taniwharau was originally formed to support the Māori Queen. It is the only Tainui team to win a senior national title winning the inaugural Duncan McIntyre trophy at the New Zealand Polynesian festival in 1981.

CREDIT: https://www.facebook.com/Kiingitanga/