March 01, 2023
New teams put pressure on kapa
The Manukura tane for third time Te Matatini champions Te Whānau-a-Apanui says up-and-coming groups will keep them on their toes.
Tamati Waaka says three new groups in the final 12 – Angitū, Te Hekenga ā Rangi and Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue- are all potential winners.
“You know the top was always there, and the bottom was sometimes a bit of a gap, but now, the bottom just keeps on moving up. And we saw that on the last week with the amount of tima hou I guess you could call it – less-established teams joining up and over-taking well-established teams, and just forcing their way to the top,” he says.
Tamati Waaka says going ahead with the competition despite the country being in a state of national emergency was the right decision, because it raised spirits battered by the extreme weather.