We are Haere Mai Taiko, an enthusiastic and authentic taiko drumming group from Auckland, New Zealand

About us


Haere Mai Taiko are dedicated and passionate performers of Japanese taiko music, based in Auckland, New Zealand.

The strong, resonant sound of the Japanese taiko (or wadaiko 和太鼓) is a staple part of festivals, ceremonies, and celebrations held throughout Japan.  Haere Mai Taiko has been bringing this art form to New Zealand audiences since 2004, and are honoured to perform music written by some of Japan's most celebrated taiko composers.
Haere mai means welcome in te reo Māori, and mai means to dance in Japanese. Formed by the New Zealand-Japan Society of Auckland (NZJS), Haere Mai first started as a Japanese dance group in 2002, then began studying taiko drumming in 2004. Then in 2011 we were introduced to the renowned composers and teachers from Matsuri Kobo (まつり工房); Hisashi Kitahara (北原永), and Michiko Nakamori (中森道子). Matsuri Kobo have since since become our teachers and mentors in the performance art of Japanese taiko.
In 2013 we held our first, full-length solo concert. It was called 'Hibiki', which translates to reverberation in English.
In November 2015, six members from Haere Mai Taiko were invited to Ina city in Nagano, Japan to perform in Dodo-on sai (ドド御祭); a taiko concert that is organised by our teachers at Matsuri Kobo once every three years. This latest concert featured over 500 performers from over 60 taiko groups across Japan. Haere Mai Taiko is one of the few groups from outside of Japan to have ever performed in a Dodo-on sai concert, and it was a great honour to take part in such an incredible event.
On October 30th 2016, we held our second Hibiki concert, performing two shows to enthusiastic audiences. We were joined by Japanese dance group Nanazu Mai, who came from Chiba prefecture in Japan to take part in the concert. We are proud and honoured to bring this very special music to the people of New Zealand.