Kīngi Kiriona, leader of Te Iti Kahurangi who took third place at this year’s Te Matatini says the group’s whakaeke aimed to make a strong political statement.
The whakaeke, ‘He Kau Kawana’ written by Brad Totorewa highlighted the Crown’s confiscation of land within Waikato-Tainui.
Kiriona says the inspiration to shed light on the land confiscations came about after the Crown returned the battle sight Rangiriri at last year’s coronation for King Tūheitia.
Te Iti Kahurangi is one of three groups representing the Tainui region and Kīngi says it’s important they reflect political issues to the Kiingitanga. If the metaphor wasn’t obvious to the audience, he says it certainly raised enough curiosity for people to ask about the significance of using the cows in the whakaeke.