Runners up from the previous Te Matatini festival in Christchurch, Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti is the first team from the Te Kei section to take to the stage today.
Along with their second equal overall placing, the group picked up a number of awards including first placings for male leadership, waiata tira, waiata-ā-ringa and reo.
Established in 1995, the group has attended every Te Matatini since.
Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti represents all hapū and marae of Te Whakatōhia. They aim to strengthen and develop their people's knowledge of Te Whakatōhea's tikanga, kawa and whakapono.
The group is tutored and lead by Te Kahautu Maxwell, Anameka Pirini, Thomas Mitai and Pixie Rogers.
They have chosen to share their haka item, composed by Te Kahautu Maxwell, which pays tribute to their late rangatira Sir Ranginui Walker.