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TE MATATINI - KAPA HAKA AOTEAROA

NUMBER OF KAPA HAKA TEAMS GROWING IN SOUTH ISLAND REGION

MEDIA RELEASE


WEDNESDAY 14th FEBRUARY, 2024


Number of kapa haka teams growing in South Island region


Kapa haka teams in Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Maui, a district situated at the top of the South Island, are preparing for their upcoming regional competitions in a climate that has seen a significant growth of kapa haka teams established in the region.


Te Matatini Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Maui delegate, Tom Alesana, says competitive kapa haka teams have doubled in primary school, secondary school, and senior groups in the region within the last five years. He attributes the growth to the local governing committee focusing on developing and nurturing kaupapa Māori initiatives.


“The establishment of Kura Kaupapa Māori, the higher number of tamariki in Māori medium

education, and iwi reo revitalisation have been a large driver of this development,” says Alesana.


Six senior roopu from the district will compete on February 24th in Nelson, including Kia Ngawari, who will celebrate fifty years, and the brand new group Te Kuru Marutea, who will be making their competition debut.


The regional competitions are an important precursor to the Te Matatini kapa haka competitions with regional groups competing to vie for a spot at the national bi-annual event.


“In 2018, Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Māui Māori Cultural Council undertook a robust internal review

that resulted in a new strategic direction and this is evident in the increase of participation numbers in kapa haka, both competitively and non-competitively,” says Alesana.


Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Maui hosted Te Mana Kuratahi in 2023, the national kapa haka competition for primary school students, and later this year, the region also will host Ngā Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua, the national competition for secondary school students.


Alesana says organising a cultural event like the upcoming senior regional competitions will help to prepare for Ngā Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua.


“It has been an opportunity for our kapa haka community to work on event effectiveness, grow local viewership, and provide an exciting atmosphere for our tamariki mokopuna to be part of.”


Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Maui senior regional competitions will be held at the Trafalgar Centre in

Nelson on 24th February 2024. The next national Te Matatini will be held in Ngāmotu/New Plymouth, Taranaki, in February 2025.


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