Tauira Mai Tawhiti returns to the National competition this year representing Te Whānau a Apanui.
Led by kaitātaki tane (male leader) Cy McLeod and kaitātaki wahine (female leader) Erena Koopu, Tauira Mai Tawhiti are one of six teams to represent the Mataatua region at Te Kahu o Te Amorangi Te Matatini festival.
The name bestowed upon the group comes from a waka captained by Mōtataumaitawhiti that landed in the Eastern Bay of Plenty region of Te Kaha. Poumātangatanga was also said to be aboard this waka and was a key figure in introducing the moki fish to Aotearoa.
The theme of the group's performance this year celebrates the uniqueness of Tauira Mai Tawhiti and the signifficance to its descendants.
The group has chosen to share it's Whakawātea 'He Kura Nui He Kura Roa' composed by Cy Mcleod and Erueti Korewha
The item is a celebration of Ngāpō and Pimia Wehi as exponents of kapa haka who have left behind an enduring legacy. The song captures their philosophy of achieving greatness when body, soul and heart are in alignment.