A three-day festival showcasing the talent and reo of Ngāti Hine will kick off at Moerewa's Otiria Marae this Friday.
The biennial Te Ahuareka o Ngāti Hine Festival has previously been staged in mid-March but — ironically, given the storm which has battered Northland this week — was shifted to October to avoid autumn's fickle weather.
Organising committee member Pita Tipene said, however, the event would go ahead whatever the weather, just like the 2017 festival which was a success despite being hit by the tail end of a cyclone.
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This year's theme, Kōrerotia te reo o Ngāti Hine (Let's speak the language of Ngāti Hine), aimed to promote the Ngāti Hine dialect as a language of everyday conversation.
''As Sir James Henare said, 'Our language is the essence of being Ngāti Hine'. We're encouraging people to use our particular dialect, our words and expressions,'' Tipene said.
As in previous years the first day of the festival, this Friday, will be dedicated to school kapa haka groups starting with a pōwhiri at 8.30am and ending at 2.10pm with a Bay of Islands College performance. Groups will travel from as far away as Whangārei to take part.
Saturday will feature what Tipene described as ''a smorgasbord of entertainment'' from 10am with kapa haka, bands, dance and debates, headlined by award-winning singer/songwriter Troy Kingi and the Small Steppas at 4.15pm.
One of the new elements in Te Ahuareka will be a wind-down and He Rā Maumahara (remembrance day) on Sunday. Each festival will focus on a different tūpuna rongonui (important ancestor), starting with Tā Himi Henare or Sir James Henare.
Tipene said the 2019 festival would also have a marquee dedicated to trades training and education providers, targeting the skills Ngāti Hine needed to build its future capability.
See the Facebook page Te Ahuareka o Ngāti Hine for the full programme.