Pareārau is just one of the many new groups that have made the cut to perform at this year's Te Matatini in Christchurch. Hailing from Ngāti Kahungunu, they are a group that has transformed itself from an entertainment group to a competitive kapa haka.
It's an exciting thought for this group that in a little over a week, they will be experiencing all that comes with performing in the world's biggest kapa haka competition.
Delia Ropiha says, “Oh it's exciting! I can't believe that, as part of Pareārau, that we have worked this hard for so long to be going to Matatini.”
They may be new to the competitive kapa haka scene, but they bring with them a powerful message.
Aaron Parekura Matehe says, “Our children are still getting hurt, some even being killed like Delcelia Witika, Jame Whakaruru who were murdered. This haka was written for them, for the Kahui twins, Nia Glassie and the many children who have been victims of abuse.”
From humble beginnings in 2004, the group started gathering momentum and changed its name from Te Matau a Māui to Pareārau.
Jackie Irihuia Ham says, “This is such a huge honour for us. It's a first for Pareārau, starting out as an entertainment group. Now the main focus of the group is to do justice to all our Ngāti Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine songs, chants and haka.”
While holding true to their Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine roots, it will be an opportunity for them to celebrate the connection of Takitimu to Ngāi Tahu.