They were on their way to kapa haka nationals, now they're not. Ngā Pua o Te Kōwhara placed fifth at their Tainui regionals but scrutiny of the competition has found Tainui failed to have the required number of performers, meaning five teams are now only four.
The team’s spokesperson, Rahui Papa says he “disagrees”.
But two teams had less than the required 24 performers on stage. Another performer competed in two different groups. The disqualifications now means only four from Tainui make the cut.
“The Tainui rules state that marks will be deducted for any errors.”
“My question is, who has the authority? As far as I’m concerned Tainui has the mana for our regionals.”
Chairperson of Tainui Waka Cultural Trust Paraone Gloyne told Te Kāea their organising committee concedes that they broke the rules and have to pay the price.
“We were confident that the rules were fine, however, we were wrong,” he said.
“Te Matatini rules will override our regulations.”
It's likely Te Matatini needed to make a decision fast before the official draw for the nationals in Wellington.
“Obviously I’m hurt at the outcome and I know my relations from Ngāti Manipoto and the group are also feeling the backlash of this experience.”