Ngāti Awa ki Rangitaiki and Te Whānau a Apanui supporters at Ngā Whakataetae Kapa Haka o Mataatua

All things Mataatua fills cultural cup

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I felt an overwhelming sense of pride to be of Mataatua descent at our rohe kapa haka competition last week.

As I stood alone, surrounded by thousands of other event goers while kaihaka performed on stage, I took in the entirety of the event – the celebration of Mataatua kapa haka, the coming together of ngā uri o te waka o Mataatua.

It wasn’t just about roopu competing for one of six places to represent our rohe at Te Matatini, for me, it was far more than that. Of course, the kapa haka was the main feature, especially seeing my whanaunga and hoa mahi on stage.

But it was a few different things that filled my cultural cup.


The pakihi stalls

The Māori inspired jewellery, the kete and pōtae, the Māori healing spaces, the iwi t-shirts. The aisles of stalls were a reflection of the talent within our rohe, the ingenuity, the creativity and the skills of pakihi Māori ki Mataatua.

Our kaumātua

Their shade, shelter and seating, their stylish pōtae, the ever-flowing kai and inu and the kōrerorero and katakata amongst themselves. Seeing my 75-year-old nan on stage was an ultimate highlight, as well as seeing her with her sisters, cousins and hoa within the kaumātua tent and their enjoyment of the finest of Mataatua haka on stage.

Our tamariki

With moko stencils on their kānohi and tinana, wearing pink and blue Mataatua bucket hats, in and out of the bouncy castles all while laughing and having fun with their whānau, chilling in the shade on the bean bags.

Tamariki would gravitate towards the camera I held in my hands.

“Can we have a photo?” They would ask excitedly before gathering in close as the camera aims their way. It was natural for them to stand proud in their iwi or haka roopu t-shirts before the countdown of the snap of the camera.

“Toru, rua, tahi,” I would count down, as they automatically gave a hearty pukana for their whakaahua.

It was a time and place that a pukana wasn’t looked at sideways, and they weren’t just on the stage, each and every pukana was celebrated.

I held the camera towards many ataahua faces over the weekend. It was an honour to capture moments from the event and I am grateful for the many whānau that were happy to have their moment captured.

I was proud to mahi.

Representing our mahi wearing my Te Puna Ora o Mataatua shirt, I was proud to tautoko the event alongside my hoa mahi.

Te Puna Ora o Mataatua provided the kaumātua tent and hosted all that came with it. We provided and manned the bouncy castles that tamariki thoroughly enjoyed. We printed hundreds of moko stencils on tamariki and whānau and provided a space for whānau to take a break from the sun. We also sold hundreds of hot and cold coffee and brought health professionals to provide assessments.

It is not unusual for our organisation to give our most to our community, living our collective aim to provide services to take care of whānau in our community, whether it’s physical, mental, social, and spiritual. I saw the satisfaction, I heard and read the positive feedback and felt the gratitude expressed by those who spent time in our spaces.

We stand proud in our Māoritanga.

Despite this being a politically uneasy time for te iwi Māori, the amount of people that attended Ngā Whakataetae Kapahaka o Mataatua to celebrate our kapa, our reo and our culture, was proof that we, as Māori, stand proud in our Māoritanga ahakoa te aha.

Ngā mihi nui ki te hau kainga, Ngāi Tai, the hosts and organisers of an event that brought our rohe together, that celebrated our part of the motu and that provided a stage for kapa to express what is important to them as a whānau, as iwi, as Māori.

Congratulations to the qualifying teams.


First: Te Kapa Haka o Te Whānau a Apanui
Second: Ōhinemataroa ki Ruatāhuna
Third equal: Tauira Mai Tawhiti
Third equal: Te Taumata-ō-Apanui
Fifth: Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti
Sixth: Te Kapa Haka o Ruātoki

Related Pānui

Profile – Tamarangi Harawira

All things Mataatua fills cultural cup

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