Tātai Kōreko win inaugural Jojo Super 9 competition

By Mānia Clarke

Tātai Kōreko (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) are the champions of the inaugural Te Iwa o Matariki, Jojo Super 9's haka competition. The competition was fierce on stage as four kapa battled it out in the finals, on Rotorua's Te Puia New Zealand Māori stage.

It's absolute jubilation for Tātai Kōreko kapa haka members who have the honour of being the contemporary haka competition's first winners.

"I'm just so, I don't know, I'm really happy. Yep, doing it for my sister, for my sisters and our aunty and Parpz," said performer and close friend of Jojo, Flavian Kingi. 

Four finalist teams with nine performers had nine minutes to showcase their flair and talent, likened to Te Arawa exponent,  the late Waimarie Jolene 'Jojo' Waaka.

Jojo's elder sister and competition judge Haina Waaka said, "It's been pretty amazing, the four teams that made it into the top four have portrayed everything my sister is. Right down to when she takes selfies, how she acts around people, just everything." 

General Manager of New Zealand Māori and Crafts Institute, Eraia Kiel formed the competition following Jojo's untimely death earlier this year. She was one of the attractions best guides. Te Matatini supported with prize monies including $3000 for the winners.

"She's one of a kind, this star called Jojo. Yes, It's met my expectations and hopes to celebrate and remember her, furthermore for her close friends to express their love for her during this time of Matariki," said Kiel.

"It means everything to us. The fact that they're coming to honour not only my sister but my father at the same time. We can't say enough about everybody coming," said Waaka.

The second Te Iwa o Matariki Jojo Super 9 kapa haka competition will take place during the Māori new year at Te Puia.