Topic: Kapa Haka

After 44 year absence Tūhoe perform once again in Rotorua

By Taroi Black
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Hundreds of people packed into the Rotorua International Stadium to watch the children's kapa haka.  The local team from Mataatua ki Rotorua showed that their children come from a proud history of living in the city but their tribal links to Tūhoe are alive and well.

Performer Alyssa Webster says, “Iwi events are far more important.  We usually attend school activities”.

Their programme on stage acknowledged Tūhoe iwi arriving to Rotorua to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the festival.

Tutor Kimiora Webster says, “We understand the [amount] of commitment people from home did to put on this event.  So we acknowledge that.  They've done it for so long and now they can take a break”.

The team has been tutored by the Webster family.  Their performance also featured taiaha.

“This is what the Hui Ahurei is all about. It’s nurturing our kids.  Although they live in Te Arawa Region, they have a real connection with their Tūhoe side.”

Mataatua ki Rotorua has three teams performing in the festivals competitive section tomorrow.  Webster says the competition will be fierce.

“Some of those performers that will feature tomorrow were former performers of the first festival.  So we came up with these groups to recognise that”.

Mataatua Pakeke will be the first on stage for the adult performances tomorrow morning.