The Search for an Elite Kapa Haka begins on Māori Television

Māori performing arts come to life in THE KAPA, an exciting new series that combines the raw talent of kapa haka fanatics with the crème de la crème of haka mentors.

Twenty-four Māori performers from around Aotearoa made it through a tough audition process to win a place on THE KAPA, which starts on Thursday, February 13 at 7.30pm.

Over the course of 12 episodes, contestants will be embroiled in gripping kapa haka challenges as they hope to impress the panel of expert mentors to see their roopu named, THE KAPA.

Producer Nicole Horan, of Black Inc Media, says the contestants had to dig deep in order to stay in the competition.

“This process was a huge surprise to the 24 kai haka, but their passion for kapa haka and the whakawhanaungatanga saw them accomplish what some would think was near impossible.”

Host Mātai Smith said he saw triumph, tantrums and tears during the course of filming, in which performers had little time to prepare for each challenge.

“It’s not like Te Matatini or regional comps where you have a few weeks or months to prepare,” he says.   “I’m talking only a couple of hours to learn the words, put a tune to the item and then choreograph it so the pressure is really on.”

THE KAPA contestants, who include high school students, best friends, brothers and even a young couple, receive mentoring from some of the country’s top kapa haka performers including Puka Moeau, Dan Vaka, Rob Ruha, Tuirina Wehi, Tiria Te Kurapa and Kahurangi Maxwell.

Mātai says THE KAPA will evoke lots of emotion from participants and the viewers.  “I’m certain the haka fans will tune in, but this series also has broader appeal for viewers who enjoy drama, dance and theatre. It ticks all those boxes.”

Kapa haka fans can also look forward to 50 HAKA MOMENTS 2013, an edgy new series that will highlight the best – and worst – moments from Te Matatini 2013.

Starting on March 7, the new countdown show identifies the top 50 moments of the national kapa haka competition, counting down to reveal the number one moment of Te Matatini 2013.

Kapa haka fans are encouraged to ‘like’ the show’s Facebook page to keep up with what’s happening in the lead up to the premiere at:

Tune in to the THE KAPA, starting February 13 at 7.30pm on Māori Television and 50 HAKA MOMENTS 2013, starting March 7 at 8.00pm.