Kapa haka festival
Hundreds of tamariki and supporters converged on the Te Awamutu ASB Stadium last week to celebrate kapa haka.
“The annual Ra¯ Whakamana Rangatahi Kapa Haka Festival is all about mana — standing before a crowd and being proud of who you are,” says organiser Kim Tautari-Scott. The festival’s name means ‘a celebration of youth’.
It brings together children from Te Awamutu and surrounding districts to perform kapa haka and learn about Te Ao Ma¯ori (the Ma¯ori world view), tikanga (correct ways to act) and te reo Ma¯ ori.
Kim, a teacher at Te Awamutu Primary School, says the highlight of the festival is seeing young children perform in front of a huge crowd.
“It’s about knowing who they are and having a tu¯ rangawaewae — being able to stand and be proud.”
“Having our local kaumatua (Ma¯ ori elders) there to support us was also a huge highlight.”
Kim says the event is inclusive of children of all backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicities.
“It’s not only for our Ma¯ ori students, but for all people of New Zealand.”
This year at least 500 tamariki performed in groups from Kihikihi School, Te Pahu¯ School, Ka¯whia School, Ngutunui Enviro School, Te Kotahitanga (Kora¯ konui and Po¯ kuru schools combined), Waipa¯ Christian School, Te Purapura o Kakepuku (three kohanga reo combined), Te Wharekura¯o Nga¯ Purapura o te Aroha, Ohaupo¯ School, Pekerau School, Te Kura Takawaenga o Te Awamutu (Te Awamutu Intermediate), Te Awamutu College, Pirongia School and Te Awamutu Primary School.
Each ro¯pu¯ (group) participating received a taonga from the day, presented by Rovina Maniapoto-Anderson.
The event was hosted by Te Awamutu Primary School.
“Jim Keremeta, our school kauma¯tua, principal Sharon Griffiths and Te Awamutu Primary’s kaia¯rahi (student leaders) Xavier Shields and Nuveia Morgan-Te Uira, presented the mauri (life force, essence of the festival) to Pirongia School, who will be the host school for 2019.”
Kim says the event was extremely successful.
“We had a full stadium — so many families and first-time performers.”
Kim thanked all who helped organise the event, including a group of senior Ma¯ori students from Te Awamutu College.
Ngutunui Enviro School poi.
Ka¯ whia School kapa haka in action.
Never too young for kapa haka: Five-yearold Ngutunui Enviro School student Shane HughesMa’auga action. in