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About Te Waka Huia

Drs Ngapo & Pimia Wehi
Founders of Te Waka Huia


Te Waka Huia is a family oriented group managed and taught by Ngapo and Pimia Wehi and their family. Te Waka Huia are brought together by a common desire to retain, maintain and enjoy the performance of the Traditional Maori Performing Arts. We embrace each other through our tribal genealogies and our affinity with those who acknowledge Aotearoa as their turangawaewae (place to stand and know one has the right to do so).

Te Waka Huia was first formed as a whanau (family) group when Ngapo and relocated from Waihirere, Gisborne to Auckland. At the request of immediate family members keen to pursue Maori culture through performing arts, Te Waka Huia was born.

In the pursuit of excellence, every two years the best groups from each region gather together to compete at the ultimate platform in kapa haka (Maori Performing Arts) - the Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Festival. This is held at selected venues around the country and the competition is fierce as each group (approximately 40) vie for the top spot in the country.

In 1986 Te Waka Huia qualified at regional level for the first time to compete in this national competition under the guidance and tutoring of Ngapo and Pimia. With less than a third of the team having performed at national level, Te Waka Huia managed to secure their first ever placing with a first-place overall. For a new team to win outright in their maiden performance, is seen as a historical first in Maori performing arts competition at national level.



A Waka huia is a taonga which contains precious treasures. The group was named Te Waka Huia by Ngapo Wehi because of the traditional use of a Te Waka Huia and the resemblance between members as individual repositories of treasures, the potential inherent in every person and the collective contribution to be made to Maoridom.


To portray excellence in the Maori Performing Arts in a competitive and non-competitive arena.

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