The organisers of Te Matatini have admitted they made a mistake by failing to announce the competition's winner of the Reo Maori Excellence Award.
Yesterday, the haka team, Motai Tangata Rau, was declared as the winner, a month after the national event in Christchurch.
The tutor and male leader of the group, Paraone Gloyne, said the group was humbled by the win.
He wondered whether his group had not been named the winner at the competition because the judges might not have been confident about the way they marked, and didn't want to announce the wrong winner.
But, chair of the Matatini national committee, Selwyn Parata, said that was not correct.
He said Te Reo had been moved into the aggregate section of the competition, and the judges thought that the marks were included in the overall aggregate of the item.
But, he said organisers found that the award had not been given to the winner, which was an oversight on their part.
Mr Parata said it could have announced the winner after the event, but decided not too. He said it went through the marks to make sure that the correct team was issued the right score.
Mr Parata said a total of 24 judges were responsible for critiquing the teams in the aggregate categories of the competition, which included the language.
He said it will make sure this situation does not happen again.