School pride on show

Hamilton News - - FRONT PAGE - Ho­ri­ana Hen­der­son Win­tec jour­nal­ism stu­dent

More than 1000 per­form­ers and sup­port­ers from Waikato schools con­verged on Hill­crest High School last week to cel­e­brate kapa haka.

He Tai Ohinga Maro is a kapa haka fes­ti­val with Hill­crest host­ing 10 other sec­ondary schools.

“It’s not re­ally a com­pe­ti­tion as such, it’s re­ally just an op­por­tu­nity for schools in our area to get to­gether and to per­form as kapa haka groups,” said Hill­crest High School prin­ci­pal Kelvin Whit­ing.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing roopu (groups) came from Waikato Dioce­san School for Girls, Cam­bridge High School, Mor­rinsville Col­lege, Melville High School, Fair­field Col­lege, St John’s Col­lege, Sa­cred Heart Girls’ Col­lege, For­est View High School (Toko­roa), Nga¯ ru­awa¯ hia High School and St Peters School, Cam­bridge.

Hill­crest ac­cepted the mauri (tro­phy) of He Tai Ohinga Maro from Nga¯ ru­awa¯ hia High School last year and pri­mary and mid­dle school chil­dren from the school’s Ka¯ hui Ako (Com­mu­nity of Learning) opened pro­ceed­ings.

“What we’ve done this year that’s been dif­fer­ent from pre­vi­ous years is that we’ve got our Ka¯ hui Ako schools in­volved around this area, Tama­here, Tauwhare, Berkley, so that they were able to sup­port Hill­crest High School in the po¯ whiri,” Mr Whit­ing said.

Stu­dents and the school’s Whakaruru Hau com­mit­tee have worked since term two to pre­pare for the oc­ca­sion. Guests in­cluded Waikato-tainui and Nga¯ti Haua¯ dig­ni­taries.

“We’ve got a re­ally ded­i­cated group of staff around Ma¯ ori achieve­ment and tikanga within the school and re­la­tion­ships with Tainui and Nga¯ ti Haua¯ have been at the fore­front of or­gan­is­ing this. A huge amount of work and ef­fort has gone into this,” Mr Whit­ing said.

The large crowd was lively and vo­cal in their sup­port of those on the stage. Even though He Tai Ohinga Maro was not com­pet­i­tive the stu­dents per­formed with pride and ex­u­ber­ance.

“They want to do well, our stu­dents, like all schools do be­cause they’re show­cas­ing their tal­ents and ca­pa­bil­i­ties… but also there’s a lit­tle bit of com­pet­i­tive­ness with other schools.

“Even though it’s not a com­pe­ti­tion as such we all like to do the very best that we pos­si­bly can.”

Pho­tos / Ho­ri­ana Hen­der­son

Kuku­taaruhe from Fair­field Col­lege at He Tai Ohinga Maro.

Hill­crest High School kaita¯ taki ta¯ ne (male lead) Te Rangi Pritchard-blunt, year 11 and kaita¯ taki wa¯ hine (fe­male lead) Rau­mati Beazley, year 11.

He Tai Ohinga Maro mauri (tro­phy).

Hill­crest High School prin­ci­pal Kelvin Whit­ing.

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