Kāpiti College kapa haka group Kia Āio te Noho set for exciting trip to China

Some of the members of Kāpiti College's kapa haka group Kia Āio te Noho, from left, Bee Veale, Ahurei Hapeta-Taereau, Maysen Pappafloratos, Maia Takurua-Truscott and Te Huirangi Peita.

An organisation affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education is playing a key part in Kāpiti College’s exciting kapa haka trip to China.

The kapa haka group, called Kia Āio te Noho, will travel to China in September, visiting Shanghai, Zhangye, Xi’an and Beijing, sister schools and some of the country’s famous attractions.

Costs within China, including travel and accommodation, are being supported by the Centre for Language Education and Co-operation (CLEC), which is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

CLEC is a non-profit educational institution for international Chinese language education, supporting programmes and collaboration on language education and cross-cultural learning all across the world.

The Kāpiti College group is the only New Zealand school being offered this opportunity this year.

College principal Tony Kane said the school was grateful to Shaun Li of the Pacific Education Alliance, who had helped with contact with the Chinese Embassy.

“The embassy staff were very interested in the idea of this sort of cultural exchange and were helpful in putting our application forward to the CLEC.”

Ocean Forbes is a member of the Kāpiti College kapa haka group.

He said the college had developed sister-school links in a number of countries over the past two decades.

“This supports the school’s international programme in encouraging fee-paying students coming to Kāpiti, and therefore providing an important contribution to the local economy, and also in providing a base for the many Kāpiti groups who have travelled overseas over the years.”

College head of Māori, Paora Trim, said the students were “stoked” to be going to China and for most, it was their first trip outside New Zealand.

“This is a massive opportunity for our kids to experience another culture and to showcase their own culture.

“Among the experiences they will have will be visiting the tomb of the Terracotta Warriors, seeing the Forbidden Palace, and climbing the Great Wall. They will be performing at sister schools and hope to be able to perform a haka on the Great Wall.”

The Year 10 international class will also travel to China later in the year.

A group is going to Vietnam and another to Japan.

“Covid has closed down overseas travel by schools, but we restarted trips last year,” Kane said.

“These are eye-opening and transformative for many of our students.”

- NZ Herald