National | Australia

Kapa haka thrives in Australia

Brisbane-based haka group Te Hau Tawhiti are using Māori performing arts to incorporate their culture into their daily lifestyles.

Last year, the group was recognised internationally when they won the Great Te Māngai Pāho video challenge '#1miriona'.


Te Hau Tawhiti | Hautopea te rākau ārai One of the passions amongst our members is the aroha we share for our language, Te Reo Māori. Our members have come through Kohanga reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori, Wharekura, Maori Boarding schools and bi-lingual units and share this common aroha with the intent to grow in our learning journey and always challenge ourselves further to be better able to share with all. Haka, waiata, karakia, compositions, kaupapa Māori and hui are all a medium for us to do so whilst living here in Australia. This video was made as an entry into the 1miriona competition doing our best to promote Te Reo Māori to those around us and most importantly our tamariki who are our future. Ko Te Hau Tawhiti tēnei e tū whakaiti nei i runga i te karanga o te kaupapa ara, ko Te Reo Māori. Ko te reo kia tika, ko te reo kia rere, ko te reo, kia Māori. 💡 Concept Idea: Ngahuia Maniapoto 🎥 Video Credits: Te Mauri Maniapoto #1miriona

Posted by Te Hau Tawhiti on Monday, September 24, 2018

Since winning the competition, they have invested their winnings into resources and wānanga to keep their knowledge baskets filled.

Te Hau Tawhiti co-tutor Te Waikamihi Korohina-Ormsby, says, "Most of us living here have been living away from home for a long time and for most of us it is pleasing to see Māori aspects such as weaponry, titi torea and prayer."

The group was first established to compete at a Super 12 competition in Brisbane and from that moment onwards they decided to carry on their kaupapa.

As-salāmu ʿalaykum ☪️ it was an honour to serve on behalf of our community tonight at The Parliament house as we pay...

Posted by Te Hau Tawhiti on Tuesday, March 26, 2019

"It has opened up a lot of doors in terms of expanding our culture over here in Australia, and doing a lot of performances for the likes of Waitangi Day, Anzac Day, and becoming well known in the community wherever we can put our foot in," says co-tutor Tamaki Gregory-Peita.

Being a kapa haka group living abroad also comes with some challenges.

"The resources are really limited for us over here so we don't have the advantage as whānau back home so we have to make do with what we've got and who we've got," says Gregory-Peita.

Te Hau Tawhiti will be performing in Hawai'i in September and could possibly make an appearance on the Te Matatini stage in the near future.