Rītana (Lytton high school) took out the title of top team for their region at the Tairāwhiti Secondary Schools Kapa Haka competition held yesterday in Gisborne.
Te Kāea reporter Mere McLean met up with the winners following the prize giving.
This journey has come to an end for this winning group.
The female leader of Rītana, Ahi Waata-Amai says, “At times it was tough, but we stuck to our goal and now we have the outcome we wanted.”
Rītana entered this competition with new tutors and many new performers, but the item that brought the group together was the song written for the late Rawinia Te Kani.
Male leader of Rītana, Moeau Stewart says, “In our group, one of our male performers is a grandchild of Rawinia. He composed the song, the tune, he taught the group it he also talked to us about his grandmother and how the loss of her affected him.”
Three teams will represent this region at nationals - Te Manawa Tahi, a mix of youth from Horouta Wānanga and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Uri a Maui placed second.
Third place winners were Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti.
Definitely groups to watch out for at the Secondary Schools Kapa Haka nationals next year.