After four days of intense competition Te Kapa Haka o Whangara Mai Tawhiti were crowned the Te Matatini 2017 champions.
The packed crowd in Kahungunu Park waited in anticipation as the prize winners were read out this afternoon.
Loud cheers, whistles and claps rang around the stadium as Te Waka Huia were read out second before Te Kapa Haka o Whangara Mai Tawhiti from Gisborne took the title.
Te Kapa Haka o Whangara Mai Tawhiti Kaitataki Tane Derek Lardelli was overwhelmed by the win.
"This is a fabulous festival which encapsulates all of the mana of our ancestors and is carried through a very powerful group of people Te Matatini. It is an honor and a privilege to win at this festival."
He said performing first in the pool play on Thursday put them in a difficult position but the team knew if they could make it through to the finals they would have a chance.
"I take my hat off to my team as they are such hard workers and I that is the key to never give up."
The next festival will be held in Wellington in 2019.
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