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A dazzling night of dance and spectacular costumes

Saturday 29 April 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Art, Entertainment, Features

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A dazzling night of dance and spectacular costumes
Te Mire Ura intermediate female dancer Hiriaterau Pitomaki in the Slow Beat section. MELINA ETCHES/23042819

The Junior and Intermediate performers who hit the stage at the annual Tauranga Vananga Te Mire Ura cultural dance competition on Thursday night, thrilled the large audience with their dazzling choreography and spectacular costumes.

The impressive and graceful junior dancers put on an outstanding and heartfelt performances in this year’s event held under the theme of “Te au Manu Puapinga o toku Matakeinanga/enua – The important animals and birds of my tribe/island”.

Te Mire Ura 2023 intermediate female dance champion Tarani Omao chose the Tavake bird for her performances, in a tribute to her late mother Tereapii Pitomaki.

Participating in Te Mire Ura for the first time, Omao said: “I wanted to join for the opportunity to showcase how much I embrace our culture.”

“I started off feeling quite shy being on the big stage but soon my confidence came through.


Te Mire Ura Intermediate Female Dance champion - Tarani Omao in the Slow Beat section. MELINA ETCHES/23042833 or 835

“I’m excited and happy to have been a part of this competition and I’m humbled to have won.”

Omao would like to acknowledge the help and support from her Aunty Elizabeth Pitomaki, and Tupe Tamatoa, choreographer Aunty Teheikura Tauira and her costume designers: Naomi Dash, Lora Tauira, Lani Tauira and Brianna Tauira.

The judges for Te Mire Ura Junior and Intermediate competition were: Jane Rubena, Piritau Nga, James Tuaputa and Mona Taio. Costume Judges: Anna Savage, Larry Tumai and Enua Peyroux.

The 2023 Te Mire Ura senior dance competition will be held next Thursday at the National Auditorium.

Dancers and results

Te Mire Ura 2023 Junior Dancers: Peyroux Meti - Vaka Takitumu, Mere Felicity Paerau - Araura enua, Boaza Manase Pukerua - Pukerua family & Manihiki henua, Raya Pirangi - Mauke enua & Nukutere College, William Ahiao - Apii Avarua & Te Au O Tonga, Aāmire Meherio Teariki - St Joseph School & Mitiaro enua, Francis Tuaua Cowan - Apii Avarua & Rarotonga.


Te Mire Ura junior male dancer Boaza Manase Pukerua in the Fast Beat section. MELINA ETCHES/23042844

Te Mire Ura 2023 Intermediate (14yrs - under 17yrs) Dancers: Hiriaterau Pitomaki - Vaka Puaikura & Maungaroa Academy, Elizabeth Numanga - Mitiaro enua, Te Pa Kelly - Korero o te Orau, Hauroaarii Tonitara - Tongareva henua, Tarani Omao - Oire Nikao, Teraeuna Rauiteiti Tuakeu - Araura enua.

Intermediate Female Results: 1st Overall Tarani Omao, 2nd Hiriaterau Pitomaki, 3rd Hauroaarii Tonitara; Best Slow Beat - Tarani Omao, Best Fast Beat - Tarani Omao, Best Costume - Hiriaterau Pitomaki, Consolation - Elizabeth Numanga.


Te Mire Ura intermediate female dancer Hiriaterau Pitomaki in the Slow Beat section. MELINA ETCHES/23042819

Intermediate Male Results: 1st Te Pa Kelly, 2nd Teraeuna Tuakeu; Best Slow Beat - Te Pa Kelly, Best Fast Beat - Teraeuna Tuakeu, Best Costume - Teraeuna Tuakeu.

Junior Female Results: 1st Mere Felicity Paerau, 2nd Raya Vainetutai Pirangi, 3rd Aāmire Meherio Teariki; Best Slow Beat - Mere Felicity Paerau, Best Fast Beat - Mere Felicity Paerau, Best Costume - Aāmire Meherio Teariki.

Junior Male Results: 1st William Ahiao, 2nd Francis Cowan, 3rd Boaza Manase Pukerua; Best Slow Beat - William Ahiao, Best Fast Beat - Francis Cowan, Best costume - William Ahiao, Consolation - Peyroux Meti.

Performance script for Intermediate male dancer Te Pa Kelly 

Kia Orana tatou katoatoa i te aroa maanaana o to tatou Metua Atua. Ko au teia ko te Toa ko Te Pa Kelly. Te mata nei au i taku putuputuanga ko te Korero o te Orau, pera katoa Te Atuianga Ki Te Tango.

Te karanga ra te tumu tapura nui i roto i teia mataiti e “Te au manu puapinga o taku matakeinanga”.


Te Mire Ura Intermediate Male Dance Champion - Te Pa Kelly in the Slow Beat section. MELINA ETCHES/23042827

Ko taku akatutuanga i roto i teia po nei kua akamou au i te reira ki runga i te toa moa (rooster). I roto nei i to tatou basileia Kuki Airani, e manganui te au moa kainga, moa Maori e te toa moa e orooro nei i runga i to tatou au enua.

Irinaki au e, maata te au meitaki ta te toa moa e apai mai ana, ei tauturu ia tatou te tangata. Ko te tumu puapinga o te toa moa kiaku koia oki, i te au popongi maimaiata, ka aue me kare ra ka tangi te toa moa ei akaara ia tatou, e akakite anga te reira e, e ra ou teia, e akairo katoa e kua oti te ora moe, ka tu ki runga e aere e rave i taau angaanga no te reira ra.

I roto i teia po, te akaepaepa nei au i te toa moa no te mea na ratou e akono ana i toku matakeinanga, na ratou e akono ana i taku pai taro. Me ara mai au i te popongi, maeva toku ngakau i te akara i taku toa moa e keri maira i te vari o te taro i te kimi i tana toke ei kai nana. E akairo te reira kiaku e, te taamaa ra aia i taku pai taro.

Te akameitaki nei au i te Atua no teia tikaanga manea no teia uraanga mua naku ki mua ia kotou i roto i teia po nei. Akameitaki au i te Atua no toku kopu tangata, toku taeake e te katoatoa rava e turuturu nei iaku.

Te karanga ra to matou reo o te Atuianga Ki Te Tango e. Koai te toa? Koau te Toa. Koau te Toa ko Te Pa Kelly. Kia Orana e Kia Manuia.

  • The 15-year-old Kelly represented Te Korero O Te Orau and Atuianga Ki Te Tango

Performance script for Junior Female dancer Mere Felicity Paerau

Kua akamouia te koni a Mere ki runga i te au manu o te enua, to te moana e to te rangi.

I roto i tana akatutuanga, te anoano nei a Mere i te akameitaki i to tatou Metua Atua i runga i te rangi teitei no te au apiianga o te oraanga ta tatou i rauka mai no rot oi teia manu tana i anga.

Ko te akanoonoo’anga e te au kara tei akarareia ki runga i te rakei o Mere, te akaari mai nei teia i te au mea umere e te akaieie i tei anga ia e to tatou Metua Atua. Te maru e te akaieie o tana akatutuanga, te aereanga o te rima e tona sope, na te reira e akakite ma te akaari mai i te puapinga e te mekameka o teia au manu, na roto i te tangianga reo e te au kupu ta te Tavini O Te Atua ko Kapao Kapao i atu.

Te akaoki nei a Mere i tana akameitakianga ki to tatou Atua, no tona aroa e te ngakau toa tana i oronga mai kiaia no tana ka akaari main a roto i tana peu koni.

Akameitakianga atupaka ki te au kopu tangata e te au taeake no te tauturu mai ia Mere. Aroa takake ki te Tavini O Te Atua, Kapao Kapao, no tetai tikaanga kia akapuapinga a Mere i teia imene navenave.

Te oronga nei a Mere i tona aroa na roto i teia koni ki tona metua vaine tei kore i piri mai i teia po, ko Uirangi Bishop.

Performance script for Junior Male dancer William Torongonui Ahiao

Teia akatutuanga i teia taime, na William Torongonui Ahiao. Te mata nei aia i tona Apii Avarua, e tona Vaka Te Au o Tonga.

No te mea kua anau ia aia ki te enua Nutireni, te inangaro nei aia kia rauka iaia te kite i tona tupu’anga Maori Kuki Airani. Tona anoano ra kia tukatau aia i ta tatou au peu tupuna.


Te Mire Ura Junior Male Dance Champion - William Ahiao in the Fast Beat section. MELINA ETCHES/23042847

Ko tana pe’e, no runga te reira i te teretere’anga mai o tona ui tupuna mei Avaiki mai, na Nukuiva ki Tumutevarovaro nei. I te tuatau o teia teretereanga, kua tupu mai tetai au manamanata manako koreia. E i teia ati’anga nei kua tatua’ia ki runga i tetai au Toa tetai au tao’anga no ta ratou i rave.  E mei raro mai i te poiri tangotango o Avaiki, puta mai ki te ao marama a – Te Ora Rangatira.

Tona rakei na tona tuaine na Elmond Ahiao i akapapa nona e te tauturu a tona kopu tangata katoatoa.