Regional | Kapa haka

Hoani Waititi marae welcome back Wehi whānau

The Wehi whānau received a haka powhiri by Tāmaki kaihaka at West Auckland's Hoani Waititi Marae today.  Ngahiriwa Taitin of Taha Tū says haka performers in Auckland wanted the opportunity to celebrate haka exponent, Dr Ngapo Wehi.

Today was about honouring the late Dr Ngapo Wehi and his bereaved family.

Tai Tin says, “It's about celebrating Ngapo and his wife, by nurturing his family as they face the days ahead and settle back in Auckland.”

Te Matatini DEO Carl Ross says, “For us, this is a call of love because many of our grandchildren, Ngapo and Pimia's grandchildren, attend this kōhanga reo, the primary school and secondary school.”

The 82-year old Waka Huia leader from Te Whakatōhea, Ngāi Tūhoe passed away nearly two weeks ago after losing his battle to a long-term illness. As a gesture of respect, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui handed the Duncan MacIntyre trophy to the Wehi whānau.

The Wehi family spokesperson Muriwai Ihakara says, “The family and tribes are still discussing the matter. The family wants the trophy to go to the right place.”

There were also calls for a new Te Matatini trophy to be commissioned and named the Ngāpō and Pimia Wehi Memorial Trophy.

Ihakara says, “In the first instance, the chairman of Te Matatini is leading that. Once they've decided what should be done, they will present their idea to the family. This hasn't happened yet.

On Thursday, the Wehi family will take the kawe mate of Ngāpō Wehi to the 10th anniversary Coronation celebrations for King Tuheitia. Next Saturday, all Te Waka Huia haka groups will stand to entertain the crowd there.