Aotearoa's best kapa haka performers compete at Te Matatini

Maori from all around the country have travelled to Hastings to watch New Zealand's best kapa haka performers compete in the pinnacle event for Maori performing arts.

Held every two years, Te Matatini is New Zealand's national kapa haka competition, which sees the country's best performers take to the stage.

It all came to a head on Sunday with the supreme award being announced.

From a record 47 groups, today it was down to the final nine, with Auckland-based Nga Tūmanako up first.

Known for their use of weaponry in their performances, Te Matarae i Orehu were strong, once again representing the Te Arawa tribe.

Reigning champions Te Kapa Haka o Te Whanau-a-Apanui paid tribute to Maori Part co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell for his commitments to the competition and to te reo Maori.

Established in 1981, five time winners Te Waka Huia dedicated their emotional performance to founder Dr Ngapo Wehi.

Yet again, Te Iti Kahurangi remained staunch in their delivery - their strong message reflected in their actions and clothing.

Awards are given for seven performance catergories, male and female leaders, clothing and use of te reo Maori.

As anticipation mounted, it was surprise winners Whangara Mai Tawhiti who reigned supreme.

Newshub.