Descendants of Muriwhenua gathered in Kaitāia on the weekend for the first Te Hiku Maiangi o Muriwhenua festival.
The event saw groups who whakapapa to Muriwhenua gather to show off their kapa haka and compete in sports.
An estimated 700 performers stood for their marae, iwi, and kura, with some rōpū standing for the first time. Other activities included races, swimming, and the famed tug-of-war competition.
Festival organiser Chris Henare says it was about renewing the bonds and standing together as one people.
“From the Kaipara, Te Roroa, to the cape, from the west coast to the east and the many iwi-based rōpū that have made it.”
“So that the home people are one. People from home have been a bit disconnected for quite some time.”
The festival was held at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rangiāniwaniwa. Kaiako Ngaire Tauhara-White says one of the main themes was for those outside of the rohe living to return to their marae to learn their histories.
“Ko tētahi atu ko te ako i ngā kōrero, i ngā hītori o te kāinga, ka waiata hōu hoki.”
“One other thing is to learn the stories and histories from home and to compose new waiata as well.”