The performances at the Tai Tokerau Regional Kapa Haka Competition has lifted to another level. That’s the early indication from the panel of judges charged with selecting the top groups of the region to represent Northland at Te Matatini.
It's a return for Muriwhenua to the stage to defend the number one placing they've held for the past two years.
Chris Henare Muriwhenua says, “When all the dust settles, the most important thing of all is that our language and the knowledge of our forebears lives on. Winning this competition or and securing a place at Te Matatini is not our main priority. It’s retaining our language and customs.’
From Ngāti Hau in Whangarei, Hatea rose to the occasion.
Joby Hopa, Hātea says, “We're here to support no matter what. In the past we've been lucky to hold the number one spot for some years and we're still here for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.”
Ngā Uri a Tūteauru, Te Pu Ao and Ngā Manu Mātui o Ngāpuhi complete the line-up of groups in the competition section this year. With an early indication from judges that the standard of performance has lifted.
Deb Nathan, Head Judge says, “It’s definitely a battle on stage knowing there are three places at Matatini up for grabs, and the comments from our panel of judges thus far on the level of performance are great.”
“What’s most important on this occasion is that Ngāpuhi stand strong and brave for everyone to see,” says Hopa.
The top groups will be announced shortly.