The 2018 Tūhoe Ahurei held in Rotorua over the weekend staged 14 senior kapahaka groups who, if they chose, could also hold their own regional qualifying competition for Te Matatini. Kapahaka has been a part of the Tūhoe festivities since 1971 when it was held at Mataatua marae in Rotorua, the first Tūhoe marae built outside of Tūhoe territory. At capacity, the iwi can put up to 20 competitive teams on the kapahaka stage. To compete at a national level, kapahaka from Tūhoe compete in the Mataatua regionals alongside Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Tauranga Moana and Ngāti Awa. It's a competition that Te Arawa was once a part of and was then known as the Tūhoe-Te Arawa Regional Competitions, but Te Arawa eventually separated and established a regional competition for groups exclusively from Te Arawa waka. Professor Pou Temara of the Tūhoe Ahurei Governance Committee told Kawekōrero that Tūhoe holding their own regional competition for the national Te Matatini stage is an idea they have entertained in previous years.
"Āe he pai tēnā mēnā ka tau pērā te whakaaro, nātemea he tata ngā rōpū o Tūhoe, ka nui ake ngā rōpū o Tūhoe i ngā rōpū o Mataatua, nō reira he mea pai tērā ki a mātou, ki te komiti whakahaere otirā ki te iwi o Ngāi Tūhoe mēnā ka tū pērā, ka whakaaro pērā Te Matatini,
("It is a good idea because I do see the Tūhoe groups nearly outnumbering the groups at a Mataatua regional, therefore the organising committee would certainly support it, as would the Tūhoe people, if Te Matatini would consider it.")