Haka has become a generational activity for whanau. Many parents who dragged their children to months of haka practice are now performing together. This includes Whakaata Maori presenter Peata Melbourne and her 18-year-old daughter, Aiorangi.
Melbourne has been involved in kapa haka for more than 20 years, as a senior performer for Ngati Rangiwewehi from Rotorua. Her daughter Aiorangi has watched keenly from the sidelines before joining her own kapa haka groups.
“From the videos, one of I think 2000 or 2002, there was this poi that I love with her in the middle and it's really cool, something to live up to,” Aiorangi says.
Peata says the way her daughter performs is beautiful and calm. Her first stand was with a Tūhoe team called Te Tira Hou "and that’s where she learned her Tūhoe style".
"From there, she performed with her high school, Ngā Puna o Waiorea, which is another style of performance and now to her Rangiwewehi group, which is her Te Arawa style that she already possessed so perhaps it will be here where she will really blossom,” Peata says.
It's now Aiorangi's time to shine, by her mother's side on stage with Ngāti Rangiwewehi.
Peata says, “We had an awesome stand. I am so proud of her and seeing her wear her Rangiwewehi bodice, reminded me of my first stand with the group, so her standing with me is a huge deal.”
Aiorangi says it was breathtaking on stage. "It was cool because I had my whānau next to me and I had my mum as well. Thinking of my pāpā, standing in the lines back in the day. It was a really cool stand. I wasn't as nervous because I was standing with my whanaunga,” Aiorangi says.
There's a Maori saying, ‘When the old net is cast aside, the new net goes fishing,’ which describes the old making way for the new. “It's time for her to hang her piupiu up, I think so yeah,” says Aiorangi.
“She was a phenomenal performer but it's more her title I'm living up to…her expectations of me.”
But Peata reveals her daughter is always late. "I’m the first to leave the house and I’m in the car. Where is Aiorangi? Still waiting for Aiorangi.” Peata says.