Tuhourangi and Tauira Mai Tawhiti return to Matangirua.

By Heta Gardiner

Two groups have climbed back into the top 9 after missing out the past few tournaments.

Tuhourangi of Te Arawa and Tauira Mai Tawhiti from Mataatua performed on finals day.  According to Tuhourangi leader Matetu Mihinui, it didn’t come easy.

“We have to work hard, that's what it's about,” he said.

But they weren't short of friends on finals day. Each group was joined by another from their region, Te Mātārae i o Rehu from Te Arawa and Te Whānau-a-Apanui from Mataatua.  Mihinui indicated that the goal is to see more from Te Arawa in the finals day.

“The goal is for all of the Te Arawa groups to make it to the top 9.”

The Te Arawa group also got to perform last- giving them some extra time to prepare.

“We didn't have to wake up early. We were able to take our time and practice” said Mihinui.