Topics: Kapa Haka, Te Ihu - Day 1, Te Matatini

Te Matatini 2015 - Manawa Mai Tawhiti

By Te Kāea
  • Australia

Manawa Mai Tawhiti comes to Te Matatini 2015 as the group who has travelled the longest distance,  5000km , from Perth, Western Australia to Christchurch.

They explain that 'Manawa Mai Tawhiti' means yearning from afar, referring to the longing their members have for home - Aotearoa.

Although they reside in Perth and the wider WA communities, Manawa Mai Tawhiti members believe in maintaining their Māori heritage while always respecting the other cultures, especially the indigenous people of Australia.

Their tutors this year are: Matthew Paki, Shannon Tukiwaho, Rapata Hoko, Kararaina Reedy, and Monique Poi.

The leaders today are Rāpata Hoko and Tāonga O Te Aroha Thomson-Lawrence.

Matthew Paki told Te Kāea, "It feels great to finally be here in the South Island, to see Aoraki and meet the other top teams."

It hasn't been an easy for Manawa Mai Tawhiti to get to Te Matatini.

Paki explains, "It cost nearly $100,000 for plane tickets, accommodation, bus fares and costumes for our performance.  That's what we were aiming for but our main goal has always been to ensure we hold on to our culture."

Te Pā o Rākaihautū is home for the 40 Perth performers over this week.

Here's their waiata ā-ringa, Parekura, performed at last year's Australian Kapa Haka Festival:

and our recent feature on their arrival to Christchurch on Sunday: