Te Reanga Morehu o Ratana was the first of 46 kapa to take the stage for Te Matatini Ki Te Ao 2019 at Wellington's Westpac Stadium this morning. From Aotea rohe, the kapa haka stalwarts have over 22 years experience at regional and national competition levels.
Early this morning, Te Kāea caught up with the team as they went through the final motions before arriving at the stadium.
The group say, "With love we remember the late Hohipera (Bella) Ashford, grandaughter of T.W.Ratana and ”Tumuaki o Ngā Awhina” who sadly passed away in early January this year.
Fondly known as “Nanny Bella”, her passing has left a huge sense of sadness within the community of Ratana Pā and within the “Rōpū Awhina” of which she was president."