Indigenous | Te Rito

Rotorua kapa haka teams get down to fundraising for national competition

Fundraising drive underway for four Rotorua-based schools to attend 2023 Mana Kuratahi National Primary Kapa Haka

The 2023 Mana Kuratahi National Primary Kapa Haka competition is just weeks away, and fundraising has moved into overdrive for four Rotorua-based schools, which have qualified and will make the trip to Nelson in October.

The groups - Te Koutu, Ruamata, Rotorua Intermediate and Te Wharekura o Ngāti Rongomai - finished in the top four at last year’s Te Arawa primary regional competition.

Monday, October 30 marks the beginning of the biennial contest.

More than half of the 41 groups come from the Bay of Plenty region, the coasts, or the Hamilton and Auckland rohe.

Ruamata tutor Rāmari Sherman says: “Distinctively, Ruamata School pays for every subject matter that we attend, whether it be sport or kapa haka, etc. - the school pays for all of that.”

“So we don’t feel as financially challenged, we members of the school kapa.”

Sherman said the reason is to make life easier for the parents.

“We as a school don’t want to make things difficult on the parents, so that’s a distinct school rule - we’ll backpack all of the financial matters. However, if a team or haka group wants more separately, then we occasionally fundraise to get those things”.

“But we understand how difficult it would be for families of other kura to be flying down south [for] two years in a row, and this may be a challenge to those schools to lighten the load on those families.”

Te Puku o te Ika a Maui is a secondary school kapa haka group made up of four different kura, including Ruamata.

“When it comes to Te Puku, even the other schools fund their students, so we all work together to help families financially,” Sherman said.

Te Matatini gives each rōpu $25,000. It will cost the group about $55,000 for travel and accommodation for 40-plus kids and kaiako, as well as supporting parents.

Te Rito