Members from Ngāti Awa ki Rangitāiki originate from the six Marae along the Rangitāiki river in Te Teko and are the eighth group to perform today at Ruatoki.
Ngāti Awa ki Rangitāiki was established in the 1980’s by the founding tutors Napi Waaka, Mateānini Harawira, Tēpene Mamaku & his wife Hine. Also known as ‘Te Eke Pī’ at the time, the rōpū represented Mataatua at both the 8th and 9th N.Z. Polynesian Festivals in 1986 and 1988 respectively.
One of their most popular compositions is their poi "Auē Te Aroha" which was performed in Whāngarei in 1988.
After an absence for over a decade, Ngāti Awa ki Rangitāiki re-formed in 2003 and have performed at all but one Mataatua Regional Competition since.
Leading the rōpū this year is their kaitātaki wahine, Hinetiki Karaitiana and the kaitātaki tāne, Michael Panapa. Tutors include members of Te Whānau o Ngāti Awa ki Rangitāiki.
Their mission statement is "Tauaki te tū, Tāiki te rere, Ōkōrero kia mau."
On show today is their waiata-ā-ringa called Rēweti written by Mango Taringa Rahi and Michael Panapa. The waiata is a lament to Rēweti Danny Hona, a prominent academic and well regarded figure of Ngāti Awa ki Rangitāiki who passed away in January.