TE AITANGA A HAUITI KI ŪAWA Nā Maria Leilua Kaupapa Kaimahi Te Tairawhiti
Our campaign for Matatini 2015 began in October 2014, and at that time Matatini seemed like such a ‘long way to go’. As we boarded our plane from Gisborne to Christchurch, the reality hit that we were about to embark on a great adventure, that was representing our rohe, Te Tairawhiti, at Te Matatini ki Ōtautahi.
Our performance was on day one of the competition. We are humbled to have competed against the top teams in both New Zealand and Australia. We had a number of new performers to the national stage and it was a humbling experience to be able to pass on the teachings that I have received to them. It was also a pleasure to share the national stage with seasoned performers who have performed in other groups prior to this Matatini. We also have a number of young performers who have been through Primary School Nationals, Secondary School Nationals and now peaking at senior level. The majority of the younger generation in the roopu are Kohanga Reo graduates. We also have a number of parents who either still have pepi in Kōhanga Reo or have recently graduated also.
The most important factor for all of us was the pleasure to stand as a whānau and represent Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti on the national Kapa Haka stage. We stand proud from where we descend. We are happy to share our stories of our tipuna and those that we hold dearly to our hearts, such as uncle Para in the art form that is unique to Te Ao Māori.
As all teams, we all strive to do our best and hope for the best result. As it is the nature of competition, we all cannot make top 9, however knowing that our small community of Ūawa stood behind us all the way, as well as our rohe, makes all the hard work pay off. We went to represent our iwi, our hapu, our rohe with pride and we can only hope that we did each and everyone proud!!!