Kapa haka fes­ti­val

Te Awamutu Courier - - News - NA¯ BETHANY ROLSTON

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.

Whakaahua / Dean Tay­lor

Never too young for kapa haka: Five-yearold Ngutunui En­viro School student Shane Hugh­esMa’auga ac­tion. in

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