Friends face tough kapa haka challenge
Best friends Edmund Eramiha and Kani Collier love a challenge but taking part in a Maori Television series tested that drive to the limit.
The group fitness trainers took part in The Kapa, a 12-week reality television programme which premiered on February 13.
On the show contestants work together in groups of eight to choreograph kapa haka performances. After each challenge one person is eliminated until only eight remain.
It was very tough both physically and emotionally, Mr Collier says.
‘‘The challenges were given to us the day before. We would prepare until about 3am and have to wake up at 6am to perform.
‘‘Our mentors told us they would have struggled if they were put under the same pressure. It was really full on but worth it.’’
Luckily the two best friends had a lot of experience to draw on.
They both performed in kapa haka groups while at high school and also spent several years working in Queenstown as part of the tourist show Kiwi Haka.
More recently they also both completed a Bachelor of Maori Performing Arts at Unitec.
‘‘We love the rush of performing,’’ Mr Eramiha of Mt Eden says.
‘‘What better way to showcase your own culture. We also learn about our identity, who we are and what treasures our ancestors left for us to carry on and showcase.’’
For Mr Collier it is also about carrying on a family tradition.
While he was growing up his parents competed for titles in wellknown kapa haka groups and he and his mother still perform together.
One of the best parts of The Kapa experience for them both was being mentored by some of the country’s top kapa haka performers.
Temuera Morrison was a real character, Mr Collier says.
‘‘He came in on day five and by then everyone was exhausted. It was one of my biggest highlights having him there because he lightened the mood, made everyone laugh and shared stories and experiences,’’ the CBD resident says.
‘‘When I was a child he performed as the leader of the kapa haka group Ngati Rangiwewehi.
‘‘He was awesome and he still is today. He still holds all that knowledge. I was very honoured to be there and listen to him speak.’’
‘‘Taking part in the television series was an unforgettable experience,’’ Mr Eramiha says.
‘‘I loved it because when our Maori youth see this they are going to say ‘I want to be like those guys’. It’s about encouraging and inspiring others.’’
Top talent: Kani Collier and Edmund Eramiha are contestants on the Maori TV reality show The Kapa.
Motivational tool: Kani Collier and Edmund Eramiha hope to inspire other Maori to get into kapa haka.
Go to aucklandcityharbournews. co.nz and click on Latest Edition to watch a video of Temuera Morrison performing as part of the kapa haka group Ngati Rangiwewehi.