National | Kapa haka

Te Kāhui Huringa new Auckland primary kapa haka champs

Te Kāhui Huringa kapa haka from Finlayson Park are the new champions of the Tāmaki primary and intermediate kapa haka competition.

Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae took out second place and Henderson Intermediate placed third.

The three schools alongside TKKM o Hoani Waititi, TKK Māori-ā-rohe o Māngere and TKKM o Puau Te Moananui-ā-kiwa will represent Tāmaki at the National Primary School kapa haka competition, Te Mana Kuratahi.

The co-ordinator of the host school's winning group Te Kāhui Huringa, Lisa Takuira says they wanted to honour performers from mainstream alongside Māori medium schools.

Takuira says they want to empower their students and normalise being Māori within a mainstream school.

“It is difficult for Māori children within mainstream to connect with their Māori roots,” she says.

“Most of these students have not been to a marae, they had not performed in a haka group before this year, or they don't speak Māori.”

Takuira says kapa haka has been the vehicle to teach all their students about Māori customs.

“It's good to see everyone come to our school,” says female leader Kahurangi Goldring.

“Some of the students are from our bi-lingual Samoan unit,” says Takuira.

“I say to them we are all descendants of Māui Tikitiki, so join us, show us your Māori connection passed down from our ancestor Māui Tikitiki. Some are from mainstream also our reo bi-lingual unit.”

33 kapa haka performed over two days, to a good standard according to judges.

“The calibre of the performances are high,” says guest judge from outside the region, Hohua Mohi.

“If these future performers are at this level, it gives me great comfort for the future.”

The national competition will be held in Waikato next year.