The standard is high between the first few secondary level kapa haka teams performing at the Te Arawa regional competition.
The ten teams are vying for the top four positions within the competition which enables them to represent the region at the National Kapa Haka Secondary Schools Competition to be held in the Hastings region next year.
Aramoana Mohi, chairwoman of Ngā Pouako o Te Arawa the organising committee of the event says that every team that performs today is the culmination of weeks of practicing, dedication and commitment.
Today also marks a sad occasion for the regional competition as they remember Mauriora Kingi who died this month and who played a vital role in the judging aspect of the competition.
Aramoana Mohi acknowledges Mauriora Kingi and all that he has done for Te Arawa, “The majority of the groups performing today do have items celebrating and remembering Mauriora Kingi and also others who have passed away recently."
The region extends from Maketu to Tongariro with teams who have travelled from as far as Turangi to participate in today’s event.
Teams performing today include Ngā Kōhine of Rotorua Girls High School, Te Aitanga a Tāne of Rotorua Boy’s High School, Te Kapa Haka o Hoani Paora, Te Iti Rearea, Te Kura o Te Kōutu, Raukura, Ngā Kura Kaupapa o Te Puku, Te Kura o Hirangi, Te Awhiorangi and Te Rōpū Manaaki.
Prize giving is expected to take place at 5pm