The calibre of kapa haka has improved in Tauranga primary schools, according to one of the judges at this region's schools competition today.
It's been weeks of practise for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Otepou Tuākana and now the time has come for them to showcase their moves.
According to one of the judges, the event creates future leaders.
Teraania Ormsby-Teki says, “The best outcome from this event is that the standard has lifted among the children, mainstream, Māori medium that is what we are really seeing as judges.”
Thirteen teams performed today from schools around Tauranga. For the chairman of the committee running the event today, Jack Te Moana, it's about building the love of Māori performing arts.
“The main thing is that the children stand strong within Tauranga Moana, the schools of Tauranga on this stage and after this we want them to stand strong on the national stage,” says Mr Te Moana.
Matapihi-Te Paeroa prepared for their final performance. Their school is one of the oldest in the Tauranga region and today they will be performing special items that they hope will catch the eyes of the judges.
The top five schools of the competition this year are:
5 - Te Kura o Matapihi (Waipu)
4 - Te Whānau o Te Maro (Tauranga Intermediate)
3 - Te Whare Kura o Mauao
2 - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori ō Te Kura Kokiri
1 - Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepou (Tuakana)
These 5 rōpū will represent Tauranga Moana at the national competition of the Kura Mana Tahi festival which will be held in the Rangitāne region in 2015.