Te Reanga Mōrehu o Rātana is the first Aotea rohe group to take to the 2015 Te Matatini stage at Pūtaringamotu.
Formed in 1997, Te Reanga Mōrehu have consistently placed amongst the top groups of the Aotea region, today is their fifth appearance at national level.
Te Reanga Mōrehu o Rātana have worked hard to retain their dialect and uphold the teachings of Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana, prophet and founder of the Rātana religion. The group also acknowledge their religious ties through the moon and star symbolism seen on their uniforms.
Tutors of the group are Te Oranga Tamou and Te Taepa Kameta. This year, the faith-based group's theme will be the physical laws and the spiritual laws.
Maria Whanarere told Te Kāea, “I don't really know the right words to accurately describe the emotion that you can feel here. It's one of religion, of being Māori, being a family, all of those sorts of emotions which have been mixed together in one big pot and it's boiling and overflowing. That's the feeling.”
Taepa Kameta said, “My job is a difficult one because our group has to be ready. If not, well the fault lies with me. That's what some might think anyway, that it's my fault, but I'm prepared to take that.
I told the group 60% of the work is up to them, the other 40% will be left to the Almighty Spirit to guide us."
Whanarere also said, “The level at Te Matatini is a calibre unto itself. I believe it's the highest calibre of all Māori performing arts across the country and indeed the world. In saying that, those in our region are very much staunch to our unique style, the performance style of Aotea, Taranaki, Whanganui, and this is us performing as Mōrehu.”
Here is their recent interview with Te Kāea during their preparations for Te Matatini: