Celebrating our Te Matatini champions
30 March 2023
Te Ihonuku o te tari o te Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori held an award ceremony, celebrating tauira and kaimahi who competed in Te Matatini.
As Te Matatini celebrations around the country come to an end, Waipapa Taumata Rau last week held its final celebration by honouring Waipapa Taumata Rau kaihaka in a celebration lunch at Waipapa Marae.
Ranging from kaimahi to tauira, the University of Auckland had up to 20 kaihaka who participated, including: Levi Ahlquist (Te Taha Tū), Uetaha Wanoa (Te Taha Tū), Te Ruki Dunn (Angitū), Piripi Gordon (Angitū), Atakura Hunia (Waka Huia), Stacy-Ria Harlee Te Kurapa-King (Waka Huia), Nikora Wade (Te Hekenga a Rangi), Atamira Walker (Te Kapa Haka o Te Whānau-a-Apanui), Anipātene Biddle (Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue), Rapata Biddle (Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue), Hikawai Te Nahu (Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue), Te Ao Leach (Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti), Punawhakaata Maniapoto-Love (Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti), Paimarire Kameta-Maipi (Te Mātārae i Ōrehu), Mihiterina Williams (Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti), Michael Steedman (Hātea), Tui Kaumoana Steedman (Hātea).
A large number of kaihaka made the final top 12, and half a dozen walked away as champions. Atamira and her roopu Te Whānau a Apanui were crowned first place. Anipātene, Rapata, and Hikawai came a close second alongside Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue. Te Ao and Punawhakaata also placed second with Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti.
Te Matatini officials gifted Waipapa Taumata Rau a taonga, a carved piece in the shape of a heitiki, for supporting Te Matatini as a totara or major sponsor. Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori Michael Steedman presented the taonga to Ngā Tauira Māori co-president Kauri Tangohau, to acknowledge them as the kaitiaki of our Māori performing arts within the University.
Māori Student Success Lead Heta Gardiner says the gifting of the taonga was appropriate.
“Ko rātau ngā kaipupuri o ngā taonga o tānerore me Hine-rēhia , nōreira he tika mā rātau te mauri o te taonga nei e tiaki, e pupuri, haere ake nei.
“They are the protectors and preservers of the ancient gifts of Tānerori and Hine-Rēhia, so it is only appropriate that they be the kaitiaki of this taonga,” he says.
“All performers need to commit to practices every weekend for at least six months, sometimes longer, just to learn and craft the bracket. It is a huge commitment and our kaihaka did us proud.”
Every single kaihaka was also gifted a custom-made Waipapa Taumata Rau t-shirt that said "Matatini Kaihaka".
Waipapa Taumata Rau was a sponsor of Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata National Kapa Haka Festival 2023, in support with the University’s Iwi-manaaki and hosting rohe, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.
The University of Auckland’s sponsorship aligns with Taumata Teitei, the University’s strategy to enhance kaupapa Māori.
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