Returning to the Matatini stage for the second time, Tūtarakauika ki Rangataua returns to the stage today mourning the loss of key leaders from the Tauranga Moana region.
Last year the team lost their co-founder, Te Awanuiarangi Black. Black was instrumental in establishing the team in 1992 with a dream to revitalise te reo Māori and the histories of Tauranga Moana.
Black was also an advocate for ‘Homai He Rā’ a campaign to make an official commemoration day for the New Zealand Wars. It was a strong theme that resonated in Tūtarakauika ki Rangataua’s performance last nationals.
The team also acknowledges the loss of former Matatini and Mataatua judge Matiu Dickson. As a Māori academic he helped shape many future leaders at Waikato University, but he also possessed a deep understanding of Tauranga Moana history which saw him at the forefront of many iwi events and projects.
The name bestowed upon the team Tūtarakauika represents leadership and also refers to a land formation in Tauranga region that personifies a historical stranding of a family of Tohorā. These landmarks are known today as Kopukaiora (father), Maungamana (mother) and their pēpe.
Today’s team is led by kaitātaki tane Maia Wharekura and kaitātaki wahine Meremaihi Ngatai-Aloua.