The last of the kapa haka regional competitions for 2018 was held in Nelson today. The Te Tau Ihu region is made up of eight iwi and despite only fielding four teams, the excitement of representing the region at the next Te Matatini competitions has the crowd amped.
Kia Ngāwari is one of the country's oldest groups, who will now perform at Te Matatini for the 3rd time.
Te Tau Ihu is the smallest region across the country, therefore, Kia Ngāwari is the only group to advance to nationals.
Te Matatini representative for the region, Tom Alesana says they have a strategy to get more groups onstage.
He says, "For us of the governing body of kapa haka in this region, it's important for us to nurture and support our groups so that they stand again in two years time. To also train our kids and our youth which is a strategic plan for us to accomplish our goal of more teams."
Alesana says it's a big responsibility for one team to carry eight tribes on to the national stage.
For now, Alesana congratulates all groups that stood and says, "The vibe was really great today for us of the governing council of this region. The crowd filled the hall up and that's just great for us."
Kia Ngawari will begin preparations for their performance at Te Matatini and will have the full support of their region.
They are the last qualifying team for Te Matatini and now all 48 teams know who their competition is as they anticipate the official 2019 Te Matatini draw.