"Whakataka te hau ki te uru,
whakataka te hau ki te tonga.
Kia mākinakina ki uta,
kia mātaratara ki tai.
E hī ake ana te atākura.
He tio, he huka, he hauhunga.
Tihēi Mauri Ora!"

Te whakataetae kapa haka a te Matatini

Six Tairawhiti teams head to Te Matatini

Alice Te Puni

TAIRAWHITI senior kapa haka teams heading to Te Matatini next year were announced at the weekend after a two-day Tamararo festival involving the largest number of groups in the annual competition’s history.

Whangara mai Tawhiti were declared 2010 regional kapa haka champions at the festival prizegiving on Saturday night. It is the second year in a row the group have won Tamararo.

Manutuke team Tu Te Manawa Maurea were second.

Waihirere, Te Hokowhitu Atu, Te Whanau a Kai and newcomers to the kapa haka competition stage Te Aitanga a Hauiti ki Uawa are also heading to the Te Matatini Festival 2011 at Gisborne’s Waiohika Estate, from February 17-20.

Whangara mai Tawhiti were national champions at Palmerston North in 2007 and second-place winners at Te Matatini in Tauranga last year.

Te Aroha Papa again won best Tamararo female leader.

“Te Tairawhiti are the overall winners of the day with six teams taking part in a national event. It is going to be hugely beneficial for us here at home with everybody getting behind the kaupapa and supporting the hosting of Te Matatini,” said Whangara mai Tawhiti team leader Derek Lardelli.

Tu Te Manawa Maurea is a relatively new group, who, after a stunning introduction at Tamararo 2006, qualified for the 2007 national competition.

Most of their team members are seasoned performers led by brilliant composers of Maori waiata and kapa haka icons.

Waihirere — who have a swag of national championship titles including the inaugural title from the Rotorua competition in 1972, 1979 at Wellington, 1988 at Whangarei, 1998 at Trentham and 2002 at Auckland — continue to express a powerful stage presence with spine-tingling performances.

Waihirere have performed consistently at Tamararo since the first ever festival at Whangara in 1952.

Te Hokowhitu Atu always delight audiences with their wonderful Ngati Porou swagger and tunes reminiscent of a bygone time.

Poignant endearments in waiata paid tribute to the group’s founder and prolific Maori composer, the late Tuini Ngawai who was born 100 years ago in 1910.

Te Whanau a Kai have been knocking on the national door since first taking to the Tamararo stage in 2006.

Waituhi team tutor Matiu Hawea secured the award for the best male leader.

Te Aitanga a Hauiti ki Uawa, with a perfect blend of silky smooth notes and powerful pitch, delighted the audience with their breath of fresh air performance.

Te Hokowhitu Atu won the People’s Choice award with Te Kohanga Reo runner up.

Tairawhiti Cultural Development Trust member Selwyn Parata called for ropu who still have Tamararo trophies including the Sutton Cup, Barker Cup and others to return them.