The finals of the Smokefree Pacifica Beats were held in Auckland this week. Māori reggae band Te Urewera, made up of students at TKKM o Huiarau from Ruatahuna, took out the $500 Native Reo Award.
According to singer Puhikura Teka, "The five of us descend from chiefly lineages of Tūhoe. Music is in our blood."
The school has bussed kids over to compete in Rotorua or Tauranga for years and finally have a band in the finals.
"The school is in the heart of the fish (of Māui) and that's where the name Te Urewera is from."
Puhikura Teka says, "We are carrying the mana of our name, our home Ruatahuna."
The band members are Puhikura Teka (vocals), Rangiwhaitiri Edwards (bass), Kirihou Teka (vocals), Rangiataahua Tawhara-Mita (keyboard), Manaaki Ahuriri (drums) who took out the Native Reo Award.
Puhikura Teka states, "We also carry the mauri of our families here today."