National | 2016 Te Tairāwhiti Regionals

5 teams to represent Te Tairāwhiti at Te Matatini

Tamararo is a regional haka competition held annually in memory of Karaitiana Tamararo.  While five teams qualify to represent the East Coast on the National Stage next year, there is more to the Tamararo event than just competition.

Whāngārā Mai Tāwhiti successfully defended the top spot at Tamararo, blowing the crowd away with their explosive sound.

Derek Lardelli - Whāngārā Mai Tāwhiti says, “I'm a bit sad because I didn't stand today, but my team reached the bench mark today.”

Seasoned performers, Waihirere Māori Club took second place, securing another spot at Te Matatini. They're the only group who have performed at every National Kapa Haka competition since it's inception.

Willie Te Aho - Waihirere Māori Club says, “I am impressed by the work that has been done off stage, especially the work of Harata Gibson and the cow boys she instructs. Where would we be without them? Secondly, I must acknowledge our elders that are here, because it was them who started this kaupapa.”

Yet it was Te Pariha o Hikurangi who made the comeback of a lifetime. They lived up to their mission statement "Whakarukea! Tū tonu maunga Hikurangi, tuohu ko ngā uri e," and secured the third spot.

Ngarimu Parata - Te Pariha o Hikurangi says, “Right now, I am out of breath, but before we went on the stage, my heart was racing, all that and more.”

Manutuke's Tū Te Manawa Maurea came in at fourth place, gaining another spot at Te Matatini.

Dayne Hollis - Tū Te Manawa Maurea says, “There's a lot of work before us, so that our iwi, our whanau, our people of Rongowhakaata, Ruapani and whomever else, can continue to move forward and maintain our connections here.”

While 2014 champions, Te Aitanga a Hauiti ki Ūawa will also perform on the national stage next year.