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The sleepy Eastern Bay settlement of Ruatoki played host to thousands during Easter weekend as the 42nd Hui Ahurei a Tuhoe took place.

Three days of kapa haka, sport and debate, all designed to bring iwi together and strengthen the identity of Tuhoe, culminated in a prize-giving on Sunday night where Te Karu were named overall haka winners with Ngati Haka Patuheuheu in second and Tawera Kaipuha third.

The first Hui Ahurei was held at Mataatua Marae in Rotorua in 1971 and since then, the event has grown to be the biggest and longest-standing iwi festival in New Zealand.

It is held every two years but the last festival was held three years ago. The 2016 event was the first post-settlement for Tuhoe.

On Friday a pohiri was held at Te Rewerewa Marae to open the event. Thirteen children's haka groups performed on Friday, while the different ropu debated a number of issues including "It is right that Te Urewera have its own sovereignty", and "Tuhoe agrees that cannabis should be legalised". Rugby games were also played.

On Saturday the highly competitive senior kapa haka got under way at 8am and continued through until well after 6pm with 15 groups taking to the stage.

Tuhoe passion and pride was evident in each of the haka performances with the crowd of thousands reacting each time a point was made through word or waiata. Sunday hosted netball and prizegiving. Prizegiving was followed by performances from the Battle of the Band's winners, the Modern Maori Quartet and Ardijah.

Rotorua Daily Post

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The sleepy Eastern Bay settlement of Ruatoki played host to thousands during Easter weekend as the 42nd Hui Ahurei a Tuhoe took place. Three days of kapa haka, sport and debate, all designed to bring iwi together and strengthen the identity of Tuhoe, culminated in a prize-giving on Sunday night where Te Karu were named overall haka winners with Ngati Haka Patuheuheu in second and Tawera Kaipuha third. The first Hui Ahurei was held at Mataatua...

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Sports is another much-loved event at Tūhoe's Ahurei Festival and Te Kāea had the opportunity to take a glimpse at this year's rugby final.

It was one valley verses another.

Ruatoki went head to head with Ruatahuna, playing the iwi's much-loved game and vying for the overall rugby title in the final.

Ruatoki's full back was on form, setting up the win with a steal and run away try. His speed ensured not only one try but yet another not long after.

The Māori language could also be heard on the field throughout the game.

Ruatoki were crowned champions with a resounding win over Ruatahuna, 25-10.

In Netball, the children of the mist gave it their all on the court, with Te Hono a Te Kiore taking out the overall netball title.

Maori TV

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Sports is another much-loved event at Tūhoe's Ahurei Festival and Te Kāea had the opportunity to take a glimpse at this year's rugby final. It was one valley verses another. Ruatoki went head to head with Ruatahuna, playing the iwi's much-loved game and vying for the overall rugby title in the final. Ruatoki's full back was on form, setting up the win with a steal and run away try. His speed ensured not only one...

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Tūhoe is looking to the future following their biennial festival held over the weekend in Ruatoki. A crowd of over 20,000 attended the festival in the Bay of Plenty area to re-engage with their culture at home. Among them was our reporter Kereama Wright.

Te Karere

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Tūhoe is looking to the future following their biennial festival held over the weekend in Ruatoki. A crowd of over 20,000 attended the festival in the Bay of Plenty area to re-engage with their culture at home. Among them was our reporter Kereama Wright. Te...

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The sports section of the ahurei was keenly contested in both the rugby and netball.

It was a tough battle in the rugby between the home side Ruatoki, and Ruatahuna. Despite Ruatahuna not giving up, Ruatoki won 25-10.

In the netball, defending champions Te Tira Hou could not retain their title this year. Te Hono a Te Kiore’s A and B squads both made the final, which ended with a draw, but that doesn't matter as Te Hono a Te Kiore are still winners.

Te Kaea reporter Taroi Black spoke to Tokai Nohotima and Reko Te Moana about the origins of the festival which began from a rugby match, played by descendants from Auckland and Wellington who met in Rotorua to compete.

Maori TV

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The sports section of the ahurei was keenly contested in both the rugby and netball. It was a tough battle in the rugby between the home side Ruatoki, and Ruatahuna. Despite Ruatahuna not giving up, Ruatoki won 25-10. In the netball, defending champions Te Tira Hou could not retain their title this year. Te Hono a Te Kiore’s A and B squads both made the final, which ended with a draw, but that doesn't matter as Te Hono a Te...

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The organisers of the Tūhoe Festival have included Golf for the first time in its weekend of events. 72 players have ignored the weather warnings and have gathered at the Te Teko Golf course.

The inclusion of golf has been a dream come true for Tiniwai Te Whetu one of the key organisers of the event.

“This day is the fruits of many discussions I have had between Te Wharehuia Milroy and Te Toka Whakaea Temara, it has been our dream to include this sport into the festival so after many months of planning we are here” says Te Whetu.

The Tūhoe Festival begins tomorrow in Ruatoki.  But today it's all about golf.  There have been changes due to the weather with the Children's Kapa Haka competition set to start at 12pm.

Later on tonight the winners will be announced in relation to the Tūhoe Golf Tournament however they will be formally acknowledged at the main Tūhoe Festival prize giving to be held on Sunday.

Maori TV

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The organisers of the Tūhoe Festival have included Golf for the first time in its weekend of events. 72 players have ignored the weather warnings and have gathered at the Te Teko Golf course. The inclusion of golf has been a dream come true for Tiniwai Te Whetu one of the key organisers of the event. “This day is the fruits of many discussions I have had between Te Wharehuia Milroy and Te Toka Whakaea Temara, it has been our dream to...

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For almost 50 years the Tūhoe festival has been an important biennial event for its descendants. They come together to reaffirm their tribal identity through culture, sports, and other activities. The event began at dawn this morning with an official pōwhiri at Te Rewarewa Marae.

Te Karere

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For almost 50 years the Tūhoe festival has been an important biennial event for its descendants. They come together to reaffirm their tribal identity through culture, sports, and other activities. The event began at dawn this morning with an official pōwhiri at Te Rewarewa Marae. Te...

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