Led by kaitātaki tāne Ricky-Lee Mitai and kaitātaki wahine Renee Mitai, Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti put on yet another strong performance at this year's regional competition in Ruatoki.
Winners of the 2014 Mataatua regionals and runners up at last year's Te Matatini in Chrishchurch, Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti has definitely been a crowd favourite.
At last year's national competition, the Te Whakatōhea based group told the story of the tragedy surrounding confiscated lands and the unjust hanging of their ancestor Mokomoko.
They also amazed spectators when they sang their renowned choral, E Tama Hikairo. Today they performed the waiata dedicated to Kīngi Tūheitia's only mokopuna, Hikairo, and his affiliation to Te Hāhi Ringatū.
Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti was established in 1995 and comprises performers from all hapū of Te Whakatōhea. Their core values include instilling Te Whakatōhea tikanga in to each of their descendants to ensure they are maintained by generations to come.
Tutored by Te Kāhautu Maxwell, Thomas Mitai and Anameka Pirini, the group has performed at every regional and national competition since its inception.
Today the rōpū has decided to share with us their Waiata Tira - Choral.