In a first for the northern Hawke's Bay town of Wairoa, two kapa haka groups will be performing at the kapa haka world championship.

One of the tutor's for Mātangirau, Parekura Rohe-Belmont, said this is the first time the ropu (group) were performing at Te Matatini, although some members had performed at the competition with other groups in the past.

"It's the first time there have been two teams which have represented Wairoa at the same time.

"It's awesome for our town."


She said everyone was really excited to head to Wellington for the competition, which happens every two years.

"Everyone is really excited, and nervous, all those emotions all tied up in one big bundle.

"For 35 minutes on the stage it's a huge commitment, but you come off feeling so proud of your achievements."

She wanted to thank Ngāti Kahungunu for their support behind the scenes, helping with things like finding accommodation in Wellington.

She also wanted to thank EIT for running kapa haka courses at various marae, which supports the sport.

It is the eighth Te Matatini for Te Rerenga Kōtuku, the other group from Wairoa, group leader Sheree Spooner said.

However, she said this year it was a relatively young team, with many members under 18.

She estimated about 90 per cent of the group had never been to Te Matatini before.


She said making it to Te Matatini was a blessing, as only the 46 top kapa kaka teams in the world make it to the competition, which she described as the Rugby World Cup of kapa haka.

As well as the two Wairoa teams, a group from Tauranga and one from Wairarapa who competed in the Hastings regional competition, are attending.

Group chair of Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Ranginui Charlie Rahiri, the group based in Tauranga, said the competition is the Olympics of the Māori world.

"The hype is building now ... everyone is pretty amped."

Te Matatini starts on Wednesday and ends on Sunday, in Wellington.