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Kei te haere a Whakaue ki te Heiva i Tahiti
Nā te māuiui korona i whakakore ai te haerenga o Ngāti Whakaue kapa haka ki Hawaii i te tau e rua mano, e rua tekau.
Wheoi anō ā te taite hou nei haere ai rātou ki Heiva i Tahiti tētehi o ngā ahurei nui te mana o Tahiti. He ahakoa ko Hawaii te whakaaro tuatahi nā ngā āhuatanga o te wā e kore ai e taea e rātou te whakawhiti atu ki taua moutere rā. Nō reira ka pupū ake anō ai tētehi rautaki i te rironga kētanga i a rātou tētehi tāhua pūtea tautoko.
Nā wai rā ka pōwhiringia rātou e ngā whanaunga o Tahiti i te marama o Maehe kua pahemo kia kapa haka ai rātou ki te whenua o ō tātou tūpuna. He rua wiki te roa o te ahurei. E ai ki te amokura o te kapa ki a Tenga Rangitauira kua roa rātou ko Corey Marsters ko Mihaere Kirby e pirangi ana ki te kawe atu i tō rātou kapa ki te puku o ngā matua tūpuna.
"Ko te mea hoki ki te whakarangatira i tō mātou kapa ki a rukua tō tātou Whakauetanga ki te ātamira, ā, ki tahaki hoki.
"Kātahi he iwi momona a Ngāti Whakaue ka whia kē ngā marae o tātou. Ki te kāpuia tātou ki tetehi kaupapa kotahi, ka rere te ihiiihi, ko te mea hoki me kaupapa kē atu i ngā tangihanga me ngā poroporoaki'.
E toru tekau katoa ngā mema o te pahi hakoke, whaihoki tokorima ngā koeke.
"Ko tō mātou hiahia kia rahi kē atu ngā koeke, mō tēnei haerenga wheoi anō kai te mau ētehi i ngā māuiui. Engari hoki, kua tino rangatira mātou i tō tātou ika-a-Whiro ko Koro Bom Gilles.
E iwa tekau mā whitu te rahi, koia hoki te ika whakamutunga o te hokowhitu a Tū. Ka nui te hākoakoa o te ngākau.
"Atu i tā mātou tū i te ahurei o Heiva kai te haere mātou ki Whare Hape e ai ki ngā kōrero onamata ko te wāhi i tū ai te Whare'arioi tuatahi. Nā, kua pōwhiringia o mātou koeke ki te whare ki reira rātou tuku kōrero ai. Kua whakaritea hoki tētehi haerenga ki Taputapu ātea i Rangiātea.
E mea ana ngā pakeke me ngā kōrero onamata nō Rangiātea tātou a Te Arawa me Tainui, koi nā te wāhi i tuku ai ngā waka, nā hai ētehi e tū tonu ana te tūāhu o Ngātoroirangi. He mea tino whakamihia e ngā iwi o te moutere rā kai te kawe tonu rātou i te mātauranga o tēnei Ihorei'.
"Atu i te whakakotahi i a tātou ko te mea hoki kia takahia ai e tātou ngā whenua o ngā tūpuna, he pai kai te waiatatia tonutia ngā tūpuna engari kia paru rānō ngā manea o te waewae kātahi ka rere te wairua – ko tēnei mea te rongo, ā tinana, ā wairua, ā kanohi hoki e mātau pū ai tātou ki tō tātou orokohanga, kātahi nā ka mana ngā waiata, me ngā whakapapa me ngā kōrero kai te kawea e tātou'.
Mō ngā wiki e ono kua pahemo kua tino ū ngā mema o te rōpū ki ngā mātanga kawe i te reo Wīwī pēnei i a Makoha Gardiner me Anahera Bowen, nā ka whai wāhi hoki ai rātou ki te noho i a Matene Simon tētehi mātanga reo o Tahiti iwi taketake ake.
Atu i ēnei wānanga kai te whakaharatau kapa haka tonu mātou.
'Mō te hunga kai tāone kē atu e noho ana, kua ora rātou i ngā hui tōpā me he wānanga reo me he wānanga kapa haka rānei'.
Ko tā Tenga whakaaro he mea nui tēnei e whakakotahi ai te rangatahi me ngā koeke o te kāinga he ahakoa kua rūhā kē ētehi o ngā pouhaka tū ki te ātamira.
Me te pai hoki kua āhua māmā ake ngā ture o te māuiui korona e taea ai e te hunga te hakoke Māori ake nei.
Ka nui te hiahia hoki o Tenga ki te tuhi waiata ki te tuhi paki kōrero e kore nei e rūhīngia e te rā, ka rua, e kaha hoki nei ki te kawe i ngā kōrerotanga o te wā ake.
'Ka nui te matapopore o te ngākau ka tūīa rawatia tō mātou kapa me ngā koeke i tēnei haerenga whakaharahara.
'Me te mea hoki e whakawawana anō ai kāua ko ahau anake engari ko te pahi auaha ki a pūhakehake ai te wairua o ngā tūpuna e rangatira anō ai tātou ki runga ki te mata o te whenua'.
'Ko tana tūnga hei pou kākā nō roto i te pōkaitara he tūnga whakaiti hoki.' Nā reira tana aronga nui ki ngā whakaaro o tō tātou ao taketake.
"Ko taku tuku tēnei ki te rōpū kapa haka me ngā tōtara haemata onamata kua matemate noa atu – nō reira e te hunga rangatahi kia tika te whakahoki i ōu pūmanawa ki te whānau, ki te marae ki te hapū otīā ki te iwi, he ahakoa he iti, he ahakoa he nui'.
— Na Raimona Inia tenei purongo i whakamaoritia
Covid cancelled a Hawaii trip for Te Kapa o Ngati Whakaue in 2020, but on Thursday next week they take off for Heiva I Tahiti, the major festival on the Tahitian cultural calendar.
The kapa had secured funding for the cancelled Hawaii trip so was able to accept an invitation in March for the Tahiti festival, which runs for the first two weeks of July.
Kapa leader Tenga Rangitauira said he, Corey Marsters and Mihaere Kirby had always wanted to take a group to the Pacific to the lands of our ancestors.
"And also I guess to enrich our kapa in Whakauetanga off and on stage. Because Ngati whakaue is such a big tribe, we don't only come from one marae; to do anything together would benefit the kapa on and off the stage and we're always looking for kaupapa to do that isn't a tangihanga or a poroporoaki."
The haerenga group comprises 30 kaihaka and five koeke.
"We did originally want more koeke to come, but not able to get medical clearance.
"However, koro Bom Gillies, our 97-year-old Hokowhitu A Tu veteran, is coming and we are absolutely stoked about that.
"Apart from our performance at the Heiva, we are going to Whare Hape, which is where the first Whare'arioi has been built, so our koeke have been invited to come and tell stories in the new whare. And we're also going to Taputapu Atea in Raiatea.
"Our history tells us Raiatea is where the Arawa and Tainui canoes were launched. From what we hear, Ngatoroirangi's altar is still there, as the people of the island still acknowledge our tupuna.
"I suppose the trip (apart from being together) is also giving them the experience of seeing and feeling the places we sing about in our moteatea.
"I touched on giving the kaihaka the experience, a tinana a wairua the places that our tupuna once walked, and also are referenced in all our moteatea, which in turn give us a better understanding of the kupu and the meaning."
For the past six weeks the kaihaka have been having one-hour lessons in French from Makoha Gardiner and Anahera Bowen and in Tahitian from Matene Simon.
That's as well as haka practice and history lessons.
"All our kaihaka who live out of town have been Zooming in for either lessons or practice."
Tenga sees the hikoi as a way to strengthen the bonds between kaihaka and koeke, even though some of the kaihaka are retired from the stage.
He is glad the Covid rules are more relaxed now as travellers can move more freely without the need to test. Tenga, as tutor of the kapa, wants to write lasting material, in terms of waiata that tell the stories of our people and our ancestors.
"I hope this trip brings our kapa and our iwi together in more ways than one.
"And I also hope it inspires not only me, but my creative team and our young ones, who have now gone out and become leaders in their own lives." He sees being the tutor of the kapa as an honour, and takes the role very seriously.
"I see it as my way of giving back to my iwi and those who came before me. So rangatahi ma, use your talents as a means of giving back to your whanau, your marae, your hapu, your iwi, no matter how big or small the contribution."