Tamaki Makaurau finish regional Kapa Haka

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Auckland wrapped up its regional kapa haka competitions this past weekend, sending six teams to next year’s Te Matatini national festival. In an exciting turn of events, three groups—Te Waka Huia, Ngā Tūmanako, and Angitu—each earned a first-place tie, marking a first for the region.

This was the final regional competition, bringing the total number of teams competing at Te Matatini 2025 to 55. The event, which showcases Māori traditional performing arts, will take place in New Plymouth from February 25 to March 1.

At the Auckland competitions, after the top three teams, Te Rōpū Manutaki came in fourth, and Te Poho o Hinekahukura, a newcomer, secured the fifth spot. The sixth team qualifying for the national festival was Te Taha Tū.

The event, known for its vibrant performances and cultural significance, will see teams from all across New Zealand, including other regions like Mātaatua, Ngāti Kahungunu, and Te Tauihu, who started their regional events earlier this year. Now, all the selected groups have about nine months to prepare for the national stage, where they will perform various traditional dances and songs, displaying their skills and cultural heritage.