Winners of last year's Ko Ngāti Awa Te Toki Kapa Haka Festival, Ngāti Pūkeko brought to the stage their own, unique flavour.
Tutored by Meihana Umuhuri, their mission statement is "Whatitiri ki te rangi, Ngāti Pūkeko ki te whenua."
The diamond etched on to their kākahu represents hapū that fall under Ngāti Pūkeko, including Te Patutāhora, Ngāti Ue, Ngā Pōtiki and Ngāti Hore.
Leading Ngāti Pūkeko this year is kaitātaki tāne Meihana Umuhuri and kaitātaki wahine Kath Teepa. Umuhuri is also the composer of most of the items performed by the rōpū.
Ngāti Pūkeko's key themes are to remember and celebrate the teachings handed down to them from their ancestors and to acknowledge those who have passed on in recent times.
The item they have chosen to share today is their haka, Te pakanga Te Manawa-wenewene.
The haka demonstrates an event that took place in the early 1800’s where Mataatua warriors faced an army of 400 from the North, wielding guns. Their clever intuition and strategic skills led to a battle at Okahukura, where with their own natural resources and weapons, they managed to defeat the army from the North. Clearly supporting the fact, “Where there is will, there is a way.”