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Whangara in forceful voice

Reigning champions Whangara Mai Tawhiti did not mince their words when they took to the national kapa haka stage at Westpac Stadium in Wellington last night.

“Kapene Kuki . . . Nanakia,” they chanted in their haka, which translates to Captain Cook, villain or scoundrel.

The Tairawhiti team, led by renowned artist Derek Lardelli, used the platform of Te Matatini ki Te Ao to voice their opinion about the sestercentennial commemorations, in October this year, of Cook’s arrival in Turanganui-a-Kiwa/Poverty Bay.

Te Matatini is often used by teams to express their feelings on political matters.

Local teams Te Whanau a Kai and Waihirere, shared grievances of how their ancestors were killed and oppressed by the Crown during the 1800s.

They made particular reference to the 150th anniversaries of the Siege of Ngatapa and the return of The Whakarau, or the exiled — around 300 Maori imprisoned and sent to the Chatham Islands with Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, the founder of the Ringatu faith.

Rongowhakaata team Tu Te Manawa Maurea shared stories of their iwi including a choral item about Te Hau ki Turanga, the carved whare that sits in Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand.

Carved by master carver Raharuhi Rukupo, Te Hau ki Turanga, was a taonga (treasure) taken by the Crown in the 1800s.

Now all five Tairawhiti teams play the waiting game to hear tonight if they qualify for tomorrow’s top nine finals, to vie for the top prize, the Duncan McIntyre Trophy.

Today is the last day of the preliminary round, and the finalists will be announced tomorrow.



The first of four Tairawhiti teams to take the stage in the Te Haumi section was Te Whanau a Kai. Pictured is Ahi Waata-Amai. Pictures by Te Matatini Incorporated Society.
AIMING HIGH: Reigning champions Whangara Mai Tawhiti put in a strong performance to see if they can make it a back-to-back win, at Te Matatini ki Te Ao, the national kapa haka competition on this weekend at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
IWI TALES: Tu Te Manawa Maurea share the stories of Rongowhakaata during their bracket at Te Matatini ki Te Ao. Picture by Te Matatini Incorporated Society.