It's been nearly 30 years since the last time a national kapa haka competition was held in the South Island.
Te Ahikōmau ki Hamoterangi is a group whose history is rich in kapa haka, which started from their senior team Te Ahikāroa, will be taking the same stage their parents and grandparents took 30 years ago.
Waipounamu Te Karu, a performer of the group says, “Te Ahikōmau started in 2012 but Te Ahikāroa, he senior group, started in 1993, so there are two groups.
Te Ahikāroa is for the elders and the youth. Te Ahikōmau o Hamoterangi is the competing team for the most part.”
Male leader of the group, Raniera Dallas says, “The main focus of Te Ahikōmau and Te Ahikāroa is family. That's what's important to us, family, from the babies to the adults to the elders. That's what we are all about.
Te Matatini is back. My mum performed back then. I was a baby watching the group from Murihiku when it came to Waitaha. Now we want to pay homage to everyone who supported Christchurch during the earthquakes. It's our time to welcome the people back here to us.”
Te Karu says, “I'm super excited. My grandfather performed in that competition so it's a huge honour for me to not only be representing my family but also my grandmother.
I'm nervous but also excited. That's the only way to describe it. It's going to be exciting once Te Matatini starts because it's huge and we are going to be welcoming all the visitors to Christchurch so they will have a nice stay here.”