A stone representing the hosting rights of Te Matatini has started its journey around the Kahungunu region, the new home for Te Matatini in 2017. The journey began in Tauranga because of an inter-regional connection represented by Tauranga group, Ngāti Ranginui who participates in the Hawke's Bay regional competition.
Te Kahu o Te Amorangi, the mauri of Te Matatini has arrived at Tamateapokaiwhenua. It symbolises the connection between Ngāti Ranginui and Tākitimu.
Reweti Te Mete (Ngāti Ranginui) says, "I acknowledge Ngāti Kahungunu because we are able to connect and celebrate our link to the Tākitimu canoe which is why we participate in the competition."
Tracey Ngatoko (Ngāti Ranginui) says, "We discuss genealogy and history regarding Kahungunu and his time here in Tauranga at his pā site in the headlands of Pāpāmoa."
Ngāti Ranginui has participated in the Kahungunu Kapa Haka regionals since 1993. They pulled out of the competition in 1997, however in 2008 initiated discussions to re-join the competition.
Today Ngāti Ranginui in Tauranga Moana have the honour of hosting the Mauri of Te Matatini.
Teimana Bennett-Peneti (Ngāti Ranginui) says, "This is not for Ngāti Ranginui alone, we acknowledge Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkenga under Mauao, we are hoping that the mauri will reach the four corners of Tauranga within the three months that it is here."
Ngāti Ranginui came second in the Kahungunu regionals held over the weekend and are one of four teams who will be representing the region at Te Matatini. The other groups are Te Rerenga Kōtuku, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga and Tamatea Arikinui.
Bennett-Peneti adds, "I acknowledge the winners Te Rerenga Kōtuku, who won the majority of the items. This is not including the poi which we won, we were very lucky to win it."
The Mauri of Te Matatini will stay in Tauranga for the next three months and will then be taken to Hastings.