March 04, 2018
Fighting moves put Te Matarae on top
A classy performance from Te Matarae i Orehu gave the group top honours at this weekend's Te Arawa kapa haka competions in Rotorua.
Leader Wetini Mitai Ngatai says the set was structured to build on the past and look to the future.
The roopu acknowledged Kahungunu, who hosted Te Matatini last year, and paid tribute to those Te Arawa leaders who passed on during the year.
It also celebrated its Ngati Pikiao roots, and as it has done since starting two decades ago, drew heavily on traditional ways.
"We'd never change our style. It's still the same thing, the same style but different stories, so a little bit of sugar and spice using a bit of fighting, the weaponry, the moves, the choreography are based on battle formations, actual fighting style and also putting a little ihi back into our performances is what we always try to achieve," Mr Ngatai says.
The rest of the six teams who will represent Te Arawa at Te Matatini in Whanganui a Tara next year are Te Pikikotuku o Ngati Rongomai, Tuhourangi/ Ngati Wahiao, Ngati Rangiwewehi, Ngati Whakaue, and Te Hikuwai.
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