Te Reureu set to kick off Tangata Rau Festival

By Regan Paranihi

Six teams will grace the Palmerston North Regent Theatre stage to battle it out for one of two qualifying spots for Te Matatini next year.

However, for newly established haka group Te Reureu, their focus is more than that.

Tutor and kaihaka, Te Moananui A Kiwa Goddard says it’s not about whether or not they come out on top, but more so establishing themselves within the Rangitāne area.

“Our bracket is about who we are, so we can inform the region who Te Reureu is and that Te Reureu is here.”

Te Reureu, a valley comprising five marae, is located around 40km northwest of Palmerston North in the Rangitikei District.

The group represents these five marae, Te Tikanga, Te Hiiri, Poupatate, Taumata o te Rā and Te Kotuku.

“The purpose of this campaign is to revive the iwi through the art of kapahaka." 

The group used harakeke planted throughout Te Reureu to create their performing costumes.

Goddard says the brains behind the year-long project were weavers Haraia Hakaraia and Davena Emery.

He also says, “Our costumes were made from the flax bushes at our marae, therefore we are the embodiment of our marae.”  

The team is excited to get on the stage and are ready to showcase what they have to offer.

Tune in to the Māori Television website on Saturday morning for the live coverage.

See below for the event schedule: