Crowds were ready and roaring at the gates during the early hours of the morning to find the best seat. Some planned strategically bringing items from home that will sustain them for the day.
The competition was on, but not just on stage as supporters queued outside the gates of Te Matatini today.
One of the die hard fans telling Te Kāea it was time to “race like a horse, like the stallion from the east coast, striding it out to the gate.”
Many of those waiting arriving as early as 5am with one of the early arrivals saying,“If you want that prime spot up the front you need to be here before the birds are out.”
A haka survival kit is essential, coats, chairs, blankets, tarps, food and your ticket.
Te Kāea asked some of those waiting what they had in their kits and the response was, “some burger rings, some toffee pops, some aporo's.”
The number of spectators who turned out at Te Matatini this year was ample, but the number of viewers online blew up providing people around the world an opportunity to watch all the groups live online for the first time.
Over 100,000 people have watched live on the internet, more than 170,000 have visited the home of haka Māori Television website, more than 400,000 have clicked play, and more than a million have accessed Te Kāea's Facebook page.