Eight teams have performed today at the Mātaatua Regional Kapa Haka Festival in Te Teko. But for one team, Awanuiārangi, their performance was a dedication to Te Makariini Temara. A noted composer and tutor with in the region.
The team was made up of workers and students of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi. For some it is their first time performing at this event.
Waitangi Black of Awanuiārangi says “Our performance was really amazing, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuirangi simply amazing.” Newly formed, they were here to remember one of their past workers, Te Makariini Temara. “We will always remember him, we continued to mourn for him.” Says Black.
Wiremu Doherty, leader of Awanuiārangi says “one side of me is sad because this coming week will mark one year since his passing.” The Mataatua region is one of the most hotly-contested in the country with groups like Te Whanau a Apanui and Ōpōtiki mai Tawhiti vying for top honours.
Doherty says groups won't be holding back. “There's nothing better than haka to showcase your hurt, anger with in the Māori world.” Eight teams will take the stage today, a total of 18 will compete as the competition continues tomorrow.