Whangārā Mai Tawhiti take out overall championship at Te Matatini 2017

Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti have been named the overall champions of Te Matatini 2017 and are the new recipients of Te Toa Whakaihu Waka - Duncan Mclntyre Trophy.

Te Waka Huia came in as runners up with Te Iti Kahurangi taking third place overall.

Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti took to the stage on Te Mātangirua - finals day alongside 8 other groups in a bid to take out the top spot, after three days of relentless competition of teams from across New Zealand and Australia.

It's been a ten year journey for Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti to take out the competition again after winning overall in 2007, in 2009 they made it to second place at the event hosted by Mataatua.

Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti was first established in 1961 and was led by Derek Lardelli and Lavinia Winiata this year.

The group represents Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Konohi and Whāngārā marae.

In an interview with Te Kāea Derek Lardelli thanked his group, supporters and whānau, he also paid a special tribute to Te Waka Huia who took first place for costume, female leader, whakawātea, haka, poi, waiata ā ringa, mōteatea, whakaeke and language excellence from the first three days of competition.

The slate is wiped clean on finals day and judges base their marks on performances from Te Mātangirua alone.

Derek Lardelli  told Te Kāea how happy his group was to make it to the top of the competition after ten years.

The mauri of the competition has been handed over to Te Whanganui a Tara who will host Te Matatini in 2019.