Te Mātārae I Ōrehu crowned Te Arawa regional kapa haka champs

By Heeni Brown

Haka and Māori weaponry exponent, Te Irirangi Tiakiawa aimed to create a group that would maintain traditional haka, weaponry and movements.

Hence the creation of Te Mātārae I Ōrehu 20 years ago. While the group are national title holders, Te Mātārae I Ōrehu have won the regional title on their own for the first time.

According to Wetini Mitai-Ngatai, “He loved movements, and creating the “tūtira hōkai” which are the movements of a war party and wanted them revived and relived on stage.”

Ngā Uri o Te Whanoa, fall behind in second place, with Kahurangi Maxwell taking the female leader trophy for the first time.

In third place is Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wāhiao, whose sweet voices touched the thousands in attendance.

Ngāti Rangiwewehi also advances to Christchurch as the fourth place-getters representatives for the region.

Under the guidance of Tukiterangi Curtis, new group Te Pikikōtuku o Rongomai, are Te Arawa's sixth place-getters.

Joining Te Pikikōtuku o Rongomai at Te Matatini in Christchurch next year is Te Arawa's fifth place group, Kataore.