Wellington Scoop

Auckland group win top prize at Te Matatini

Ngā Tūmanako – RNZ photo

Report from RNZ
Te Kapa Haka o Ngā Tūmanako from Auckland have won the national kapa haka competition Te Matatini.

Despite cold and wet weather, thousands attended the finals of the world’s biggest kapa haka competition at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium today.

The Auckland-based group defeated 46 other groups to claim the top prize.

They had a second chance to show their mettle in the nine-group finals today, having challenged people to speak te reo Māori and highlighting the legacy of te reo Māori teachers in their previous perfomance.

Two-time winners Te Whānau ā Apanui placed third, and first-time finalists Te Pikikōtuku o Ngāti Rongomai, from Te Arawa, placed second.

Report from RNZ – February 23
The five-times winner of the national kapa haka championships has failed to make this year’s final. When the nine finalists were announced at Te Matatini tonight, the crowd at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium were shocked to hear Te Waka Huia hadn’t made it.

However, the reigning champions, Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti, are through to Sunday’s final, as are the Tainui group Mōtai Tangata Rau and Te Arawa group Te Pikikotuku o Ngati Rongomai for the first time.

After all nine groups have performed again for the judges, the winner will be announced on Sunday afternoon.

Thousands are expected to watch the top nine groups performing in the finals, though rain is forecast and the organisers are advising people to bring plenty of warm clothes.

Kapa Haka finalists in order of performance:

8.40am – Te Mātārae I Ōrehu
9.17am – Mōtai Tangata Rau
9.54am – Te Kapa Haka o Te Whānau a Apanui
10.44 – Ngā Tūmanako
11.21am – Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao
11.58am – Te Pou o Mangatāwhiri
1.13pm – Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti
1.50pm – Te Iti Kahurangi
2.27pm – Piki Kōtuku

The finals will mark the fourth day of the national Kapa Haka festival at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, with 46 groups competing for first place. Today, the third day of the festival, the final pool of 15 groups performed to an enthusiastic crowd of around 12,000. Past winners Te Waka Huia wowed the crowd with their strong performance and their powerful haka about suicide.

One of the nine groups will take the supreme title of Toa Whakaihuwaka.