Kapa haka celebration of culture
What a spectacular conclusion to Maori Language Week!
The 12th annual kapa haka contest organised by Te Wananga o Tamaki Nui a Rua was the biggest yet, featuring three pre-schools, seven primary schools, two secondary schools and the Wharetiti Kapa Haka Roopu from Woodville in a programme which started at 10am and concluded at 3pm.
Seldom has the Dannevirke Town Hall been so full with hundreds of children and a large number of adults as teachers, supporters and family filled every seat.
It was a celebration of everything good about kapa haka — beautiful costumes, spectacular choreography, wonderfully harmonious waiata, rhythmic poi and ferocious haka.
After a karakia by Nanny Noa Nicholson and a welcome from mayor Tracey Collis, compere Jade Moses kept the show flowing with great encouragement, as each school put on a performance to be proud of. In the end Huia Range Seniors, who have been practising for the regional competition for six months, showed the benefit of all that rehearsing, sweeping nearly all the primary school awards and sharing the Te Reo Trophy with their juniors.
St Joseph’s won the award for Contribution to Kapa Haka and Tararua College received all the secondary school awards.
Wharetiti Kapa Haka Roopu received the Community Award from mayor Collis.
Awards, while nice to receive, are not the main focus of the festival, however. Having thousands of children conversant and proficient at waiata, poi and haka is surely what Maori Language Week is all about. Each school was proud! Chests were out, chins were up, eyes were flashing, boy’s chests were ruddy and the dominant walk was a strut! Ka Pai!
WHARETITI Kapa Haka Roopu with their community award and those won by Tararua College.
NORSEWOOD Primary School sings a waiata.
HUIA Range performers with all their trophies.
APPLETON Pre-school performing This Old Man.