The stone talisman imbued with the spiritual essence of the world’s premiere kapa haka competition, Te Matatini, is being shared with marae throughout Auckland who are hosting the next festival in 2021.
The arrival of the talisman at Mataatua Marae in Māngere last night was led by representatives of the Tāmaki Makaurau Senior Kapa Haka Society and Manurewa Marae, where the mauri has been for the past month.
Pouroto Ngaropo, who was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit at Government House earlier in the day, was amongst his hapū, local schools and members of the community to receive the talisman.
“We’re extremely honoured to have the mauri of Te Matatini here where some of our great leaders like Ngāpō and Pimia Wehi have held campaigns in their time,” says Ngaropo, standing in the ancestral meeting house Awanuiārangi, where the talisman will be housed this month.
Ngaropo, who is the chair of Mataatua Marae, has judged numerous kapa haka competitions at a regional level, as well as Te Matatini.
“One of the driving principles for us all is that the mauri can unify. It’s exciting that the mauri is bringing us together and connecting us to all the other marae throughout Auckland and preparing us for Te Matatini 2021.”
The event last night was attended by the representatives of the Auckland's Mauke community from the Cook Islands who have established strong relationship with Mataatua through their shared history.
It also coincided with Mataatua Marae hosting Te Kōtahi a Tāmaki, a collective representing 34 marae in Auckland.
Spokesperson Tania Kingi says this mauri coming to the different marae in Auckland signals that we should be working collectively.
“It would take the effort of every marae to make sure we can care for the 80, 000 plus visitors that will be attending Te Matatini 2021 and so there is a lot of work to do for us to be able to do that.”
The stone talisman arrived in Auckland in February, along with the Ngāpō & Pīmia Wehi Duncan McIntyre Trophy, and was received at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland to acknowledge 2019 overall winners Ngā Tūmanako.
The notion of sharing the mauri amongst the marae of Tāmaki was put forward there and has since been received by Ngāti Whātua at Orakei Marae as well as Manurewa Marae.
Other marae in Te Kōtahi a Tāmaki have also expressed their wish to receive the mauri, including Tahuna Marae in Waiuku and Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island.