Formed in 1931 by the late Tuini Motu Ngāwai, Te Hoko Whitu A Tū are one of Aotearoa's longest running kapa haka. They continue to honour those of the 28th Māori Battalion and past leaders of the group.
This year, the group is led by kaitātaki tāne Tauira Takurua and kaitātaki wahine Jacqueline Chesley-Ingle. They are also both the tutors.
Te Hoko Whitu A Tū comprises uri of Te Whānau a Ruataupare and Te Whānau o Te Ao Tawarirangi. Their iwi is Ngāti Porou and kaihaka affiliate to Pākirikiri, Waiparapara, Tuatini and Te Ariuru marae.
As a rōpū, they strive to provide the opportunity for their whānau to learn waiata, history and traditions of their hapū and iwi. They also aim to strengthen whānau, hapū and iwi through kapa haka.
Te Hoko Whitu A Tū was instrumental in supporting the battalion overseas whilst nurturing the whānau, hapū and iwi at home. They performed as a rōpū whakataetae in the 1980s and won the Karaitiana Tamararo shield for the first time in 1986.
They qualified to compete at the Polynesian Festival held in Ngaruawāhia in 1992 under the leadership of the late Anaru Takurua. Since then, the rōpū has qualified for Te Matatini Festivals and have taken the stage in 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
This year they have chosen to share with us their waiata-a-ringa, Hokinga o ngā mahara.