Te Waimana Kāku has won the rights to hold the next Tūhoe festival in 2020 following a delegates meeting of Te Taunuku Kororangi at Mātaatua Mārae in Rotorua.
It’s been a six year wait, but their dreams are finally being realised according to Martin Rakuraku, “We are very humble to take our elder back to Te Waimana. This is humbling because this follows an amazing event held outside of our tribal lands”.
The last time the Ahurei was held in Te Waimana was in 1999.
Hosting group Mātaatua ki Rotorua says they were prepared to host the Ahurei again in 2020 but are pleased for the rights to be given over to Waimana.
“I'm very happy that Tamarau (Trophy) will be taken back with Waimana. They have been asking for the rights to hold the festival for a long time but in the past they were unsuccessful,” says chairman of the host organisers, Whitiaua Ropitini.
15,000 were expected at this Tūhoe festival. There were 600 junior and senior kapa haka performers, 40 junior and senior netball teams and some 300 players and 15 senior rugby teams with around 300 players.
“We have requested the rights to hold the event during our performance in the Ahurei- my son had included it in his speech. We have been asking to host it for so long since when my father and them were alive,” says Rakuraku.
The delegates of the Taunuku Kororangi, the group that runs the Tūhoe festival, will meet again in June.