A pool of aspiring judges are training to one day adjudicate at the nation's pre-eminent cultural competition, Te Matatini. Today they went to Auckland's ASB Polyfest to gaining experience.
Amongst them was kapa haka exponent Te Kahautu Maxwell, “We're here as representatives of Waikato University. We also have a partnership with Te Matatini to help train our new judges to become reo experts.”
Some of the Waikato University students are hoping to judge at Te Matatini in the future. That could be possible with the help of Te Kahautu Maxwell and Pou Temara.
“I'm judging the mōteatea (traditional chant) and will critique their reo. But the challenge is that you're having to judge urban Māori students,” says aspiring judge Paora Brosnan.
“I think it's awesome for these kids to see haka exponents take part in the event,” says Maxwell.
The 2900 students that will grace the stage this week will be marked by seven new judges
“I think the judges really liked our performance and it was a bit scary but I think we did well,” says performer Kelcey Roberts from Hato Petera.
52 teams from around Auckland will be marked by 18 judges. This Friday, Prime Minister John Key will arrive in style at the festival.