Te Waka Huia female leader Pimia Wehi Te Ua dedicated the coveted title of Manukura Wahine that she won at Te Matatini 2017 - to her whānau.
Pimia is the youngest daughter of the late Dr Ngāpō and Pimia Wehi who founded premiere kapa haka group Te Waka Huia, and sister Vicki has previously worn the traditional Māori korowai presented to the best female leader after she won it in 1990.
"It’s a real privilege to be the recipient of this korowai particularly because of the strong women that have received this award in past years. I’ve been fortunate to have Vicki’s help and the support of my mum.”
Te Waka Huia cleaned up the aggregate awards section, winning the whakaeke, mōteatea, waiata-ā-ringa, poi, haka, whakawātea delivering the perfect bracket - scoring 700 out of 700 points.
However, Te Waka Huia was placed second overall after Te Mātangirua section – pipped by overall Te Matatini 2017 champions Whāngarā Mai Tawhiti. But this did not faze Pimia.
“Our goal was to come to this Matatini and bring our dad who we lost last July, and so that was our tino kaupapa for this whakataetae to pay tribute to our dad, and anything else was a bonus for our family and our two rōpu(Te Waka Huia and Te Manu Huia.)
Pimia is also a kaiako of Tikanga Marae based at Gisborne’s Whirikoka campus of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa but runs wānanga throughout Te Tai Rawhiti and works with Te Aitianga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāi Tai and Whakatōhea iwi.
She enjoys combining her passion for tikanga and kapahaka in her teaching as taught to her by Dr Ngāpō Wehi.
“My father was a stickler for tikanga - ko te tikanga te tuatahi, ko te kapahaka te tuarua.”
Fellow Te Wānanga o Aotearoa kaiako and Te Iti Kahurangi female lead Tiare Teinakore was placed second in the Manukura Wahine section and Miriama Morrison-Hare of Te Mātārae i Ōrehu was third.