Te Matatini: NZ icon Stan Walker performs at Te Matatini with Te Reanga Mōrehu o Rātana

One of this country's most successful musicians, Stan Walker, took on a challenge he's looked forward to since he was a boy.

On Friday he stepped onto the stage at Te Matatini - performing as a member of the Rātana faith-based kapa haka group.

Stan Walker's soulful voice is one that takes you to the heavens.

On Friday he performed alongside his whānau and Whanganui-based group Te Reanga Mōrehu o Rātana.

When asked how felt about his first stand, Walker said "I dunno it all went so fast, tiring, amazing, adrenaline like I've never felt before and I just felt proud".

He felt proud because the Australian-born 32-year-old has returned to his roots, fulfilling the legacy left by his great-grandparents who founded a youth group based on the Rātana faith in the 1980s.

"I wanted to do this since I was a kid. I've been a successful artist and I've been in this industry for 14 almost 15 years, all to come back to something I wish I had," Walker said.

Despite his stardom and hectic work schedule the head tutor of the group said he had to be firm with Walker to get him ready for Te Matatini.

"I did have a little bit of a talk with him and said to him 'mate if you can't crack it then I'll do it'.

But no he did, he was confident, I was confident and we were all confident in our brother," Te Reanga Mōrehu o Rātana tutor Te Taepa Kameta told Newshub.

Artists like Stan Walker are among the many taking the stage at Te Matatini in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Silver Scrolls song winner Rob Ruha and award-winning recording artist Pere Wihongi are also performing.

When Newshub asked spectators what they thought of Walker's performance they all loved it.

"I really enjoyed him singing," one person said.

Another said: "Ka pai Stanley, ka pai whanāu. Love you."

A third said, "He looked mean out there."

Connecting to culture and performing exactly where he belongs.

Te Matatini: NZ icon Stan Walker performs at Te Matatini with Te Reanga Mōrehu o Rātana