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Te Matatini kapa roopu celebrated

Published: 7 March 2019
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, right, with Te Matatini Society Chair Selwyn Parata and He Tohu Huia Kaimanawa nā Te Matatini mō Ngāpō raua ko Pīmia Wehi, atop which sits the Duncan McIntyre trophy.

Auckland Town Hall hosted a moving pōwhiri on Tuesday 5 March in celebration of Tāmaki Makaurau’s five kapa roopu that competed at Te Matatini 2019.

Held in Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara (Wellington) in February, the world’s largest kapa haka event features the very best of Māori performing arts and is the culmination of years of discipline and hard work.

West Auckland roopu overall champions

West Auckland-based roopu, Ngā Tūmanako, were declared the overall winners of the event. The group was originally founded by, and for, foundation students of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae. Through performing arts, Ngā Tūmanako promotes Te Reo Māori and Māori culture.

Te Roopu Manutaki, Te Waka Huia, Te Manu Huia and Te Taha Tū also competed in Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara, sending powerful messages throughout New Zealand and internationally.

Representatives from each roopu attended the pōwhiri, along with senior kapa haka leaders, including Te Matatini chairperson Selwyn Parata.

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Ngā Tūmanako members Jeff Ruha, Reikura Kahi and Kawariki Morgan with Selwyn Parata, chair of Te Matatini Society, and Te Waka Huia stalwarts Annette and Tapeta Wehi.

Auckland's unique cultural identity

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says that the pōwhiri was a fitting way to welcome back the five kapa roopu and celebrate their contribution to Auckland’s unique cultural identity.

“The roopu are ambassadors for Māori storytelling, art and culture – the contribution they make to promoting Auckland’s unique cultural identity is invaluable.

“It was impressive and moving to see a total of five groups compete, and to know that a group from Tāmaki Makaurau received the coveted Te Toa Whakaihuwaka taonga.

“Auckland Council was also part of the Tāmaki Makaurau contingent to receive the Te Matatini Mauri Stone as the hosts of Te Matatini 2021.”

“2021 will be a massive year for Auckland – we will host the 36th America’s Cup, we will have world leaders here for APEC and two sporting world cups will take place – women’s cricket and rugby. But the jewel in our cultural crown will be watching our kapa haka roopu compete again at Te Matatini 2021. Te Matatini in Auckland will attract more competitors and bigger crowds than ever before. It will be the best yet!”

Vibrancy of Māori culture

Councillor Alf Filipaina travelled to Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara to represent Tāmaki Makaurau and receive the Mauri Stone: “Tāmaki Makaurau was very well represented and well received at this event, especially the Auckland delegation that travelled down to support Te Matatini 2019,” he said.

“To have five groups make it through the regional kapa haka competition to qualify and compete at Te Matatini is fantastic. Te Matatini is a wonderful opportunity for us all to embrace Māori culture and for our communities to express themselves through performing arts. Through kapa haka we see the vibrancy and uniqueness of our culture proudly displayed.

“Te Matatini 2021 will be a momentous occasion, and one that we can all get behind to support our local roopu as they defend the title.”

Ngā Tūmanako final performance at Te Matatini (via Māori Television).

Watch the civic reception for Te Matatini roopu at Auckland Town Hall (via Māori Television).