The annual Te Ahurea Tino Rangatiratanga festival kicked off today with a pōwhiri for participating secondary schools from across the Tāmaki region.
Established in 1996 by Māori teachers of Tāmaki Makaurau, the festival was set up to celebrate and promote Māoritanga amongst students and their wider school communities.
This year, Te Ahurea celebrates its 19th anniversary, with 16 groups taking to the stage. This year's host school is Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae.
They say participating students are also able to gain NCEA credits for Māori Performing Arts.
This year is a national qualifying year, where the top two groups will advance to the National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka competition which will be hosted by Te Matau a Māui in Napier, at Pettigrew Arena in July 2016.
While most groups are familiar with the Ahurea stage, newcomers Alfriston College will no doubt be excited to perform to the masses.
A whānau-orientated day can be expected tomorrow with an array of kai stalls, community booths and kids rides, as well as the exciting kapa haka performances.
Here is the order of performances for Saturday, with gates opening at 7:30am and karakia off the stage at 8am:
1. James Cook High School - Te Pou Herenga Waka (Non-comp)
2. James Cook High School - Te Kapunga
3. TKKM o Te Rakipaewhenua
4. Papakura High School
5. Ngā Puna o Waiōrea
6. Kings College
7. Te Wharekura o Māngere
8. Ngā Puna o Waiōrea (Non-comp)
9. Ngā Tapuwae - Tautahi ki Pareārau (Non-comp)
10. Massey High School
11. Rutherford College
12. Waitākere College
13. Alfriston College
14. Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae
15. Ngā Tapuwae - Puanga ki Tāwera (Non-comp)