Kapa haka delight for whānau
Te Arawa children compete on stage
Whether they had their eyes shut clutching their hearts singing to the heavens, or thumping their hands on their chests in a fierce haka, Te Arawa’s children have done their whānau and ancestors proud.
Barely a dry eye was in the Rotorua Energy Events Centre last Saturday as hundreds of children took the stage for Te Arawa Primary Schools Regional Kapa Haka 2022.
While it was a showcase of some of the best Māori cultural performances from children aged between 5 and 13, there was also intense competition.
The top four schools out of 13 were named to represent Te Arawa at the national competition in Nelson next year.
Winning the competition was Te Wharekura o Ngāti Rongomai, second was Te Kura o Te Koutu, third was Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruamata and fourth went to Ngā Kura Māori o Tūwharetoa.
The competition started at 9am and the 13 groups rolled through until 5pm performing before 19 judges.
Each school had up to 25 minutes to perform six or seven items, including a choral song (optional), whakaeke (entrance song), waiata tawhito (traditional chant), waiataa-ringa (action song), poi, haka and whakawātea (exit song).
Head judge Waata Cribb said the best part of the day was watching kapa haka again after most events were cancelled because of the Covid pandemic in the past two years.
“The most beautiful part of being here today is seeing our kids in their kākahu on stage and being that much closer with their tupuna. Also the reo, the Māori language, it’s awesome to see our young ones growing in that space.”
Waata said kapa haka provided big opportunities and it was a worthy path for young ones to consider.
“We have just had one of our groups from Rotorua, Te Mātārae I Orehu, return from performing in Italy. So there are many opportunities to experience the world through kapa haka.”
He said it was also heartwarming seeing the kuia and koroua watching their mokopuna perform again.
For the full results, go to the story on the Rotorua Daily Post website, and for more photos from the day go to pages 16 and 17.