Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue will join Te Mātārae I Orehu, Te Pikikotuku o Ngāti Rongomai, Tūhourangi/ Ngāti Wahiao, Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Te Hikuwai. It has been 20 years in the making.
According to Tenga Rangitauira, spokesperson for Ngāti Whakaue, the iwi is really happy with the result. He says, "our elders are the ones that are really excited the tribe will returning back to the arena”.
For two days, 21 teams performed in the Te Arawa kapa haka regionals. The top six teams winning a spot at next year's Te Matatini. Starting from 6th place they are Te Hikuwai, Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Tūhourangi/ Ngāti Wahiao, Te Pikikotuku o Ngāti Rongomai and 1st place Te Mātārae I Orehu.
Male leader of Te Mātārae I Orehu, Te Po Mitai-Ngatai, was happy with his group's victory.
"We have achieved what we have set out to do. Our aim is to bring to life our traditional stories and showcase them,” he says.
Ohinemutu picked up the trophy for best new group.