Aotearoa ambassadors Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti off to Taiwan

By Mere McLean
  • North Island: East Coast

Next month, Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti haka group will represent NZ at the Howkan Global Indigenous Peoples Arts Festival in Taiwan. The festival hopes to promote indigenous culture.

Members of Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti are excited they will be heading to the capital of Taiwan this month.

“We are raising funds, in order to represent Te Matatini and Māoridom in Taiwan. It's for the Howkan Global Indigenous Peoples Arts Festival,” says Thomas Mitai from Te Whakatōhea.

The funds raised today are for the performers. The group has already been to a number of events representing NZ overseas. 

Mitai says, “We have travelled with Te Whānau-a-Apanui to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Brisbane as well as the one held in Wellington. A lot of us went to that one.”

Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti haka group was established in 1995 and comprises of performers from all hapū of Te Whakatōhea. In 2015, the group came second equal with Te Mātārae i Ōrehu at Te Matatini.

“We are very happy that the group is going on this trip. We would like to thank Te Matatini for this opportunity,” says Mitai.

The group of 12 performers leave NZ for Taiwan on July 25 and return on August 10