First LGBT haka team has eyes on Te Matatini

By Taroi Black

One of Aotearoa's first LGBT haka groups is about to take centre stage at Pride Week in Auckland. But the team Ahakoa Te Aha is also looking to one day competing at the Tāmaki Makaurau regionals and hopefully Te Matatini.

Whati Te Wake says, “As we all know that we have members from the gay community that have talents especially beautifying groups from across the country. That's how I see it.”

They don't sweat the small things, but when it comes to haka they mean business.

Jade Kanara Mills says, "As you can understand at different levels in terms of our te reo, our whakapapa, so of late I’d say in the last couple of months I've been trying to one on one train with them. But you know I'm not fluent in te reo but I do know the basics stuff so I share what I know."

Ahakoa Te Aha started four years ago in a garage with only so many members with an aim to support the LGBT community through cultural dance. Te Matatini Board supports them.

"That has been a consideration but obviously we'd have to adhere to certain guidelines that the committee have always stood by and as you can see with 'Ahakoa Te Aha', we have men performing in the front line along with women who are Whakawahine. So we're not just your a-typical rōpū."

With Te Matatini's support, we may just see them take centre stage at future nationals.