First to take the stage this year at Te Kahu o te Amorangi: Te Matatini 2017 is Te Manu Huia who delivered a performance resonating with tributes to their patriarch Ngāpō Wehi and matriarch Pimia 'Nen' Wehi.
Te Manu Huia was established in 1995 and represents Ngā Mātāwaka, Ngā Hau e Whā and the Tāmaki Makaurau rohe. they are one of the five qualifying teams to represent Tāmaki Makaurau at this year’s festival hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu at the Ngāti Kahungunu park in Hastings.
Absent from the last Te Matatini Festival in Christchurch, Te Manu Huia returns to the National competition hoping to secure one of the top three positions in the ‘Te Ihu’ section.
The kaitātaki tāne (male leaders) are Harley Hoani and Tawhiri Ruru and the kaitātaki wāhine (female leaders) are Tarumai-i-Tawhiti Kerehoma and Moeahi Kereoma.
The group is tutored by Vicki Wehi, Tarumai-i-Tawhiti Kerehoma, Moeahu Kerehoma, Enoka Wehi and Harley Hoani
Here is the group's whakaeke, 'He whakaeke mō Koropā' composed by 'ngā mokopuna o te whānau ā Ngāpō rāua ko Pimia Wehi' which is a tribute to Ngāpō Wehi affectionately known by those close to him as 'Koropā.' This whakaeke acknowledges the grief and loss of their koroua, but also highlights their determination to stay strong and pull through together and united.
The full bracket of the group can be viewed on the Home of Haka page on the Maori Television website.