Champs take on a healthy chal­lenge

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JOHN BOYNTON

Plenty of sweat and a healthy pair of lungs could give kapa haka teams get­ting ready for the re­gion­als a win­ning edge.

Se­nior teams from across Auck­land will bat­tle on stage next month for spots in the 2015 Te Mata­tini na­tion­als in Christchurch.

Te Mata­tini re­gional del­e­gate An­nette Wehi helps to run Auck­land-based teams Te Manu Huia and Te Waka Huia o Mua as well as de­fend­ing na­tional ti­tle­hold­ers Te Waka Huia.

Ms Wehi says sev­eral hauora or health ini­tia­tives help the per­form­ers.

Se­nior Te Waka Huia mem­ber Hari Rua says the shift in fo­cus to­wards health over the years has been huge and group mem­bers now take part in ac­tiv­i­ties such as Iron Maori triathlons, walkathons, cross-fit gym and in­di­vid­ual train­ing regimes to boost their fit­ness.

‘‘Phys­i­cally when you get your haka on you’re still go­ing to feel the pain but you can re­cover quickly for the next items.’’

Wero (chal­lenge) coach Kristina Paraha also runs auahi kore, a quit smok­ing pro­gramme, to help per­form­ers tackle the habit.

It in­volves groups of 10 peo­ple try­ing to quit smok­ing over a 12-week pe­riod with a $5000 re­ward for the win­ning group.

‘‘We just had a two-week buildup to pre­pare ev­ery­one to be­come auahi kore and what we do is give them all the in­for­ma­tion and sup­port we can pro­vide for them.’’

The pro­gramme will help to clear the smok­ers’ lungs and make the group’s renowned har­monies even sweeter, she says.

‘‘Af­ter you fin­ish a hard run all you can hear is the smok­ers cough­ing up a storm and you hear the phlegmy bits in their throat and it breaks down the voice which is not good at all.’’

The re­gional kapa haka com­pe­ti­tion kicks off on Satur­day, April 5 at the Aotea Cen­tre in cen­tral Auck­land.

Photo: FAIR­FAX ME­DIA

Fit for ac­tion: Mem­bers of Auck­land kapa haka group Te Waka Huia, the na­tional Te Mata­tini ti­tle­hold­ers, take part in a range of ac­tiv­i­ties to boost their fit­ness.

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