TU Te Manawa Maurea, the young and vibrant culture group from Manutuke, are enthusiastic about competing for the fourth time at national level this month — and sharing their message.

Te Matatini 2013 is being held at the Rotorua International Stadium from February 21-24, with Tu Te Manawa Maurea set to take their 30-minute bracket to the stage on the Saturday at 5.03pm.

The Rongowhakaata team burst on to the competition scene with a stunning introduction at Tamararo 2006, which secured their spot at the 2007 Te Matatini festival.

The first-time national competition entrants finished seventh overall. They were pipped to stand in the final six by 0.5 of a point.

Since then the team has represented the region twice (Te Matatini 2009 and Te Matatini o Te Ra 2011 in Gisborne) as well as New Zealand in Beijing, China at the 2008 World Folk Song Festival and the 2007 NZ/China Free Trade Agreement signing.

Group tutors Teina Moetara, his sister Christine Moetara and Lorraine Brown are all looking forward to leading Tu Te Manawa Maurea into their fourth nationals.

Their performance bracket this year focuses on the hue (gourd) and its uses in Maori culture, especially as a symbol of peace as depicted through Hineputehue (Maori goddess of peace).

Maori in the old days would use the sound generated from the hue for bringing peace, said Mr Moetara.

Through the broader theme of peace, Mr Moetara said they would also cover some of the big political and environmental issues affecting the region at the moment such as mineral exploration, including hydraulic fracturing and deep-sea drilling.

“We want to show people that we have an approach based on the principles of the hue that could be useful.”

The bracket also reinforces their connection, as a people, to the whenua (land) — the hue connects on a vine in a similar way to the umbilical cord connecting the child to the placenta (also called whenua) that sustains them in the womb.

Mr Moetara said as the last group to take the stage before finalists were announced, Tu Te Manawa Maurea hoped to clear the kaupapa (themes) laid down by the other groups and leave the audience with their kaupapa of rangimarie (peace).

He cited the proverb “e ngaki ana a mua, e toto ana a muri” which means “to clear the pathway of those gone before planting the new idea”.

Mr Moetara said Te Matatini had grown over the years and attributed the popularity of the festival and of Maori performing arts to the uniqueness of haka as an art form.

“There are no other art forms that use large group choreography and music in the way that kapa haka does. I think it is very special in that way,” he said.

It was not just a performance but reinforced the identity of the group, he said.

“For us we are always learning how we can develop better relationships with ourselves. It is an inward journey but it is also an outward one.”

Mr Moetara said Te Matatini competitions were an opportunity for Rongowhakaata to express its cultural heritage and history as whanau members discovered their individual and collective identity, voice and direction.

The contemporary Maori group uses a traditional art form to celebrate the core essence of being Maori.

Rongowhakaata boundaries span an area embracing Gisborne, from the Waikanae Beach foreshore through to Awapuni, up to and over the mouth of the Waipaoa River to Pakirikiri near Browns Beach Road, back inland taking in the community of Manutuke, pushing into the communities of Patutahi and Waituhi, back across the Waipaoa to Matawhero and back to Awapuni.

VIDEO New Zealand Maori Kapa haka dance

Responses to "Kapa haka with message of peace"

  1. casey says:

    I didn't know the women also participated. Nice!

  2. Ria Swift says:

    Every time I watch them it freaks me out. I am mesmerized. Amazing energy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Impressive! Perhaps something for The United Nations to see or do everyday. Just to pump up themselves before "fighting" for peace.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Words can't describe the level of energy that comes from something so beautifull, It's great to see it and i think we should see more traditional things in all ways,Thank you

  6. TeManawa says:

    I am so very proud of you Kapai Kotau - TeManawa

  7. Diana says:

    So extraordinarily beautiful, primal, spiritual!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am glad so many young people are learning these ways and the language,

  9. Anonymous says:

    Love these guys!

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