Preparations are underway at Ratana Pā ahead of the Aotea regional kapa haka competition which is being held at Te Pā o Ngā Ariki, Ratana for the first time.
Haka groups from all over the Taranaki and Whanganui regions received a warm Ratana welcome today with the home people going the extra mile to make sure the venue was in top shape.
The Ratana star and moon symbol adorns the apex of the stage, with the picturesque temple in the background.
The chairman of the Te Reanga Mōrehu o Ratana Trust, Kamaka Manuel says, “This could be the first time people see the backdrop of our stage which is our temple. We're overjoyed to be able to have our holy temple in the spotlight.”
According to Manuel it has taken nine months, $80,000 and a team of over a hundred workers to pull it all together.
“Today we're starting to see the fruits of our efforts. Our dreams and plans for the event are coming together and we're really happy that the months of preparation are starting to show through.”
Manuel says this could be the biggest Aotea regional competition yet with more than 1,200 presale tickets sold already and a further 500 tickets up for grabs at the door.
“We're expecting a big crowd here tomorrow. We think there will be more than 1900 people here and we're really looking forward to it.”
Nine teams are set to take the stage tomorrow with only three teams advancing to Te Matatini.
The competition will be live-streamed on the Māori Television website. The draw order is as follows:
- Ngā Pakeke o Ratana
- Aotea Utanganui
- Taranaki Whānui
- Taranaki ki te Tonga
- Te Taikura o Te Awa Tupua
- Tūtū Kā'ika
- Ngā Purapura o Te Tai Hauāuru
- Te Matapihi
- Te Reanga Mōrehu o Ratana