Competitive Kapa Haka for kids questioned

By Mere McLean

Passion, desire and strength was highlighted at today's national primary schools haka competition, but the question that still hangs in the air is whether or not the competition is beneficial for our children.

Hineamaru Ropiha of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Māngere, was proud to say, “We of TKKM o Māngere are here standing strong, and there's nothing wrong with that. We're here to support our children, who are of the utmost importance.”

For the panel of judges, it's nothing new to their ears.

Turuhira Hare Kaiwhakawa believes, “In order to ensure our young primary school children do benefit from this type of competition, their love of the language and of performing must be nurtured. It's not about the cut-throat nature of competition, as that's when the negative things start to creep in.”

In the coming days, more than 30 teams will perform on this stage and tomorrow's line-up will include past winners Te Wharekura o Rākaumangamanga.