Ngāti Maniapoto celebrate their identity

By Wikitōria Day
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

This weekend saw the launch of a new tribal event that took place at the foot of Kahuwera Maunga in Ngāti Maniapoto. The Te Nehenehenui Kapa Haka festival brought together the many descendants of the tribe.

Te Piopiotanga o te Rīwai, where this event had its inaugural celebration. Initiated by Te Mahere Rautaki Reo o Te Nehenehenui, the aim was to have a haka competition for Maniapoto, by Maniapoto.

Raymond Kaiki says, “This is just a start. Despite the small number of groups, they bring great prestige.”

Tai Huata says, “The thoughts that spring to mind are, firstly, how happy I am that the iwi has come together for this occasion. There's no better occasion.”

The sharp sighted were positioned on the judge’s bench and most of them are familiar with this job.

New trophies were created for the winners of the children's, teenager's and adult sections. Carver,

Te Kūiti Stewart created them and they were given the names of Te Manutūke, Te Mahuru and Te Moroiti.

From the youth, to the elderly, a great sense of pride resounded through the room.

The goal of this event if to help develop haka, reo Māori, Māori customs and the Māori culture within the tribe. The people have their desires for this event in the future. 

Te Ingo Ngaia says, “That is my main desire, to see families putting together their own family, hapū, marae-based groups to ensure that the songs from their own marae live on at this event of Ngāti Maniapoto.”

Next spring will see this event come to fruition once again.