Hui Ahurei a Tūhoe, why is it important for the descendants and what it means to them.
This is the longest running tribal cultural festival in NZ.
“This is the heart of Tūhoe and people here say that the festival is what brings people home,” says Hori Uatuku from Te Mahurehure.
With a population of 35,000 strong, the festival creates a path for Tūhoe to achieve a 40-year plan to self-govern.
Tom Brown is here with his youngest child, who he hopes will grow-up being proud of her Tūhoe roots, “We don't get a chance to celebrate as Tūhoe, together very often, apart from in your own, whārua, or in your own hapū, it's just a good time to come together and connect and as one.”
The responsibility of the event lies with the next generation according to Tūhoe elder Hori Uatuku, who has no doubt they can continue the event into the future, “This is the main event for Tūhoe. We've done the work, stood before the government and other tribes. We only need to say the word and the work done.”
Most Tūhoe live outside the region. The festival is an opportunity for them to return to the homeland.