Te Matatini 2015 - Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti

By Te Ao Māori News, Wikitōria Day

Established in 1995, Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti believe in nurturing the younger generation in Te Whakatōhea's tikanga, kawa and whakapono as the end-all of kapa haka.

After four years as runners-up, Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti reclaimed its title as winners of the 2013 Mataatua Kapa Haka competition over two-time winners, Te Whānau-a-Apanui.

Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti is the first Mataatua group to take the Te Matatini 2015 stage.  In 2007, they were placed third overall at the Te Matatini festival held in Rangitāne, today they left it all out on the stage.

In a recent interview with Te Kāea, their tutor Te Kāhautu Maxwell ensures that his troops use their history as their philosophy, "The tragedy was the confiscation of lands, the tragedy was the hanging of our innocent ancestor, Mokomoko.  All that history makes us who we are, Te Whakatōhea."

Here is their moving whakaeke from the 2014 regional competition:

Here's the recent interview of their preparations for Te Matatini: