Apr 18, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

Te Arawa kapa haka dispute | Matthew Martin

4 min read

This comment is on the Rotorua Daily Post webpage – where the original article is posted and is from Kayz Bidois |Such ficticious reporting, is there any forum or anyone in the media that reports the truth rather than use whats written on facebook accounts to cause unnecessary conflict and comments such as the first? It looks as though you are creating a divide between two teams who are both Te Arawa and have whanau and friends involved in both teams. You use comments from FACEBOOK to back up your story?? Kidding right. While there many expressions of surprise and hurt that certain teams hadn’t made it, those comments are from (as Eraia put it) people outside the kapahaka circles. Dont try and create and us and them to sell your paper!

And by the way Anthony (a person who commented that they should just get over it), a “dispute” happened last regionals when Rangiwewehi were announced winners and then hello they then are announced first equal with Te Matarae…TE ARAWA regionals and disputes go hand in hand obviously, so kia tau e hoa its just part of the process!

TW.com | Tautoko those comments whanau, do let us know, we’ve come under fire ourselves, for reprinting this story – our whakaaro is to ask whanau to make their feelings known – and help correct the inaccuracies – as the above comment clearly does.

We are also told that the Daily Post issued a correction today on page A3 of today’s issue, we haven’t seen it yet.


(Daily Post)Controversy has erupted in the region after one of Te Arawa’s top kapa haka groups missed out on a spot in the national finals.

A public spat, principally between supporters of two-time national champions Ngati Rangiwewehi and finalists Manaia, has been aired on social networking site Facebook.

Te Arawa held its regional kapa haka championships on the weekend with a record 22 teams competing for six places at the national kapa haka competition – Te Matatini – at Rotorua in February next year.

Supporters of Ngati Rangiwewehi say they deserved a place in the finals ahead of fifth placed team Manaia, with Manaia supporters saying Ngati Rangiwewehi should accept the judges’ decision and move on.

The Daily Post can confirm leaders of Ngati Rangiwewehi made an official protest to organisers and a disputes committee heard their case on Sunday night.

The six teams to make the national competition finals were Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao, Te Mataarae i Orehu, Nga Uri o Te Whanoa, Kataore, Manaia and Nga Potiki a Hinehopu.

Te Arawa Kapa Haka Competition deputy chairman Trevor Maxwell said the committee was still considering its decision which would be announced this week but it would be very difficult to overturn the final decision.

“There were 4000 people there and 4000 experts. But the 18 official judges were chosen by the teams. The stakes are high, this is a very competitive competition. There are some ill-informed people putting things on Facebook – it’s not the spirit of kapa haka – this is just kapa haka,” Mr Maxwell said.

Facebook comments included – “A bit shocked that Matarae didnt win, and even more shocked that Rangiwewehi didnt make it to natz, bad call judges, bad call …”

I am feeling the pain for my beloved whanau Rangiwewehi you were the TU MEKE today and regardless of what those sucky results say you should of been in the top 6.”

“We were shocked to to hear Manaia not Wewehi made it through.”

“Could be a mis count kuz!!! Between MANAIA and wewehi sad man!!!”

Competition judge Pouroto Ngaropo said the weekend’s competition was highly competitive and the best he had seen in his 15 years of judging kapa haka at regional and national levels. Mr Ngaropo said he believed Ngati Rangiwewehi were unlucky not to have been selected and there were “one or two teams who I think were lucky to have made it in”.

“I think they set the benchmark and were absolutely superb. In my opinion they should have made the top six.”

He said he did not approve of people running down other groups on Facebook and he encouraged Te Arawa to support and show love for each other when it came to the national finals next year.

“It looks like bad sportsmanship and Te Arawa is not like that,” he said.

Ngati Rangiwewehi male leader and co-tutor Daniel Vaka said he and his group were “totally gutted” with the result and would be fighting the judges’ decision.

I want to congratulate all the groups who will represent Te Arawa, they were all awesome. We don’t have a problem with any group in particular … but I think the people know [who should have made the top six]”.

Manaia male leader and co-tutor Eraia Kiel said his heart went out to his relations at Ngati Rangiwewehi saying he had performed with the group for 15 years before joining Manaia.

“It’s unfortunate there are people out there, many not even in kapa haka circles, who are picking on Manaia for whatever reason. There’s definitely some jealousy involved and a lot of what’s being said is just hearsay.

“It’s not going to dent our wairua [spirit], in fact it’s made us stronger.”

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19 thoughts on “Te Arawa kapa haka dispute | Matthew Martin

  1. ok lets get this clear, im guessing Rangiwewehi is ticked off ony because Te Matatini is in Te Arawa next year, would they have been ticked off if it was in Whangarei this year? why is it that you people are talking about it et one group drop and et Rangiwewehi in, those other groups performed with heart and soul who worked their ass’s off fo rmonths and because Rangiwewehi is a favourite team they want to drop another team down so they can get in, get over it, it is not the end of the world yet there is still next Nationals and reginolls

    1. tena koe, he paku korero pea toku. ko nga korero o runga ake, ara ki te purongo mo nga raruraru i te kapa haka a rohe o Te Arawa he ahua h?. Kaore nga korero katoa mo nga raru mo te komiti whakahaere o te arawa i runga ake i te purongo. so there are more korero behind the take. it wasnt about going to matatini,it was really about how te arawa komiti are being unfair on us.

      Ngati rangiwewehi were given 95 points out of 100 for the whakawatea by one judge. This particular judge did not go to any judges hui prior to the competition. It was said in the hui that if a judge was to deduct a point from a item than there should be an explanation for every deduction.
      this judge had written a beautiful explanation with only ONE koorero whakatupato.
      5 points deducted = 1 explanation???? it shouldnt be

      1. engari e rere tonu ana nga mihi ki nga roopu i uru ki te matatini ka tuu ki roto o te araawa. Ngati rangiwewehi will still be there to tautoko i te kaupapa me nga tini whanaunga ka tuu ki te papa tu waewae

  2. Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch these performances but oh how I wish I had! A day full of awesomeness would have been well….awesome!

    What I don’t understand though is all this animosity towards Manaaia for making it to Te Matatini. If anything, shouldn’t people be thinking that Rangiwewehi (if you think they deserved to go forward) be moved into 6th spot? Which means Ng? P?tiki a Hinehopu would miss out? I can only assume that consistency was the key in getting Manaia through and good luck to them (my manawa is with another r?pu so please don’t think I’m biased either way lol).

    Aroha to ALL those who missed out on making it to Nats, AND all the best to those who DID make it, whomever it ends up being~

  3. Kia ora, Have of performed on the Day with Rangiwewehi at this years te arawa regionals, We have nothing against the other groups that had made it in, this is simply an act against the TE ARAWA COMMITIE. We have no raru between the other groups, our main focus as at the commitie. As a lack of Justification had been made on our marks. This has nothing to do with thinking that we are automatically in te matatini. I think alot of people need to take a step back on what they are saying and see the bigger picture on what we are doing..

  4. Manaia may not have gotten many awards but their points were probably consistant in every aggregate item…Rangiwewehi may have gotten awards but were very low in the items they didnt place in…who knows…Matatini rule 6.6 once the announcements made…its final. This rule applies to regional and national comps

    1. Kia ora, We are aware of Te Matatini rule (that once the announcements made .. is final.).In 2010 Ngati Rangiwewehi was announced winners on the day,-after drinking and parting we woke up to find out that someone had put in a dispute against rangiwewehi.and at the end of that day Te arawa commitee announced Rangiwewehi first equal with te matarae.(matarae was announced 3rd on the day of the omp)… heoi ano, We were happy to share the title with Te Matarae, because we knew they deserved it!


    In my opinion they Ngati Rangiwewehi were unlucky not to get in, but just as Aroha (see above) has suggested, if we all knew how the counting process is undertaken then we may all understand a little more.

    I can see a point about kapa haka being more of a competitive sport now.
    But i put this to you Hone Te Rire, our ancestors have always been combatant with tane rore. Sport, challanges, tests. It was all about whos the fastest, strongest, tallest, most skilled, who had the deepest karakia, most wahine, most kai. all a comp e hoa.VERY MUCH A MAORI THING TOO.

  6. ae I have no vested interest but to say that Manaia scored no points whatsoever and Ngati Rangiwewehi did. no wonder they feeling a bit ticked off. never the less Te Arawa will be well represented and one of you’s will probably win. good on the new groups too-

    1. Tainui what a lovely comment about Te Arawa will probably win you must have ESP. A piece of advice though learn how the judging of such competitions works and you will gain a better understanding of the event.

      1. ae Aroha you are right – i have no idea lol – my son who said he is well informed in these circles- pointed it out to me lol- typical belly maaaaari i am – kia pai to ra

  7. Ka aroha ki a tatou katoa me aku whanaunga o Te Arawa. I have an issue with competition especially concerning Kapahaka. Namely that competition produces winners & losers, happiness & joy, sadness & loss, jealousy & hatred. Ka aroha e hoa ma. I feel for those that have missed out & feel elated for those that have achieved. Well done. But a lovely educational very kaupapa Maori taonga seems to do nothing but produce a very tikanga Pakeha kaupapa of winners & losers minus the enjoyment & kaupapa of whanaungatanga and rangatiratanga me te aroha noa tatou ki a tatou.

    Ka aroha ki a tatou

    1. Yes Hone your remarks are so true, the ancestors of all the kapahaka groups who are debating this issue of winning and losing will be certainly doing the pukana and the haka at them all and not in a nice way!

  8. Get over it people! Change is good! Just means that all teams will have to up the anti next time. What about the other 15 that didn’t make it through? you don’t hear them going on about it and having it splashed across the Daily Post and Facebook.

  9. Some things within the Tearawa region will never change, Ngati Rangi wewehi were amazing, slick, toneful, abd the best thing about Rangiwewehi, they are all one whanau , can all the rest of the teams including Manaia say they are one whanau, Rangiwewehi deserve to be representing Te Arawa, but as things are still the same, it is not how you do on the day, but who you do.

    There needs to be neutral judges and neutral collaters, for me Rangiwewehi so deserve to be in the top three.

    1. What on earth has being one whanau got to do with the kaupapa. My opinion is that when a group consists of too many whanau that’s when all the raruraru starts as is with a lot of Maori issues these days. A lot of issues erupt when there are too many whanau in one group hence the reason we have Whanau Ora now to try and bring back the true meaning of Whanau.

    2. The need to get over it and move on…if this gets ugly then the iwi will pay when Nationals comes to Te Arawa…just goes to show that some of these top groups automatically think they are going to get in…and if they dont they have a hissy fit…suck it up!!! every other group that doesnt make it has to…

      1. Every other group doesnt make it to the top six or nine of the matatini but Rangiwewehi does.Yes i agree the top teams do expect to make it,however that is because they have a professional attitude and work ethic when practising for kapahaka events they are winners they believe in themselves and their track record proves it.This issue is about sending the strongest to represent our iwi and i believe the judges have failed not just Rangiwewehi but Te Arawa.Maybe if you make it in the finals of Matatini you should automatically qualify in regionals

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