It has been the largest Mana Kuratahi to date with tens of thousands tuning in via livestream. First time judge, Paora Brosnan says the high-standard of performances is a sign of great things to come.
“The standard of the competition this year is very high, from what we've seen a new generation of younger tutors are coming through. So the groups are learning from their own peers. The standard of the competition is so high, it's fair to say the judges are excited about the future of kapa haka,” says Brosnan.
Te Kura Mana Māori o Whangaparāoa are the youngest rōpū to stand at this year’s competition. The first time performers are recent graduates from kōhanga and definitely put on a show.
Rawiri Waititi says, “They were in kōhanga at the beginning of the year, three weeks later they started school and we are very fortunate. This is what we wanted for our groups, an opportunity to showcase the talents of our junior and senior students to the crowd and the judges. That was our main focus.”
Preparations are already underway for the 2017 Mana Kuratahi National Competition, in Gisborne.