Kapa haka kids im­press at re­gion­als

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

The Rich­mond Road School kapa haka group per­formed with gusto to shake off their un­der­dog sta­tus at the Auck­land re­gional kapa haka com­pe­ti­tion.

Young­sters from the school’s bilin­gual unit, Te Whanau Whariki, were strong com­peti­tors at the event, held on Novem­ber 14 and 15. They were the only pri­mary school to qual­ify for the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion in Palmer­ston North next year.

Ropu (team) leader Cindy Pile-Wetere says the com­pe­ti­tion is typ­i­cally dom­i­nated by kura kau­papa Maori (Maori-lan­guage im­mer­sion schools).

‘‘They have in­ter­me­di­ate age stu­dents where as we are deal­ing with kids rang­ing from 6 to 11 years old,’’ she says.

‘‘There is a big dif­fer­ence be­tween teach­ing a 6-year-old and a 13-year-old. First we had to teach them just to be able to stand still for 20 min­utes.’’

Pile-Wetere says be­cause kura kau­papa are full im­mer­sion, the stu­dents are used to kapa haka as part of their every­day lives.

Te Whanau Whariki stu­dents are new to the com­pe­ti­tion and it is only the sec­ond time they have com­peted at the re­gional level.

But she says ‘‘big hearts’’ – and an im­pres­sive support net­work be­hind them – made the chil­dren un­stop­pable.

‘‘The teach­ers played a huge role,’’ Pile-Wetere says.

‘‘Most of the wa­iata were writ­ten by the teach­ers, then put to mu­sic and ac­tions, then taught to the stu­dents.’’

‘‘The cos­tumes, kakahu, they were all hand­made by the par­ents – it has been a joint ven­ture and a real com­mu­nity win.’’

Peachez Vetenebua, 10, was first equal in the manukura kotiro sec­tion which is for the top fe­male leader in the en­tire com­pe­ti­tion.

At least 10 stu­dents will be leav­ing for in­ter­me­di­ate school next year.

‘‘We will have to bring some of younger ones up,’’ Pile-Wetere says.

Not only that but an en­tire new bracket has to be cre­ated and per­fected.

‘‘Our teach­ers will have to re­search the area around Palmer­ston North and com­pose wa­iata to fit.’’

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see the kapa haka group per­form.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.