Topic: Kapa Haka

Ngāti Kahungunu kapa haka lift performances

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Kahungunu lifted their kapa haka game at this year's Ngāti Kahungunu regional competition held in Te Wairoa, with fourteen teams battling it out on the stage to earn that Te Matatini spot come 2019. 

"It's very awesome, from what I've seen the standard of all the groups of Ngāti Kahungunu has really lifted to a whole another level, so, the rest of the motu better watch out for us here in Ngāti Kahungunu," says JB Heperi-Smith with a laugh.

Ngāti Kahungunu has only recently finished hosting the pinnacle of the kapa haka world, Te Matatini, in 2017.

"One of the biggest factors was hosting Te Matatini here, it really improved our kapa haka and improved the standard of the performances so we have a lot to thank Matatini for and allowing us to host it here," says Hira Huata, Te Kahu o Te Amorangi.

Around 400 performers have taken part in the competition, vying for one of the four Te Matatini spots. 

"This is a new generation that we're seeing here in Māoridom, a fresh generation that is coming through and it's really being showcased here to everyone," says rangatahi Grace Tahuri

The mauri has been given to Wairarapa to host the next regionals competition.