Communities from throughout the East Coast turned out in strong numbers to support the Delamere Cup in Ōpōtiki. The annual kapa haka festival has been a fixture of the calendar for the primary schools from Matahi to Whangaparaoa since 1961.
Paora Brosnan says, "This is of significance to us because the festival inspires our youth in regards to retaining our language and culture."
The 57-year-old event is named after Māori Battalion veteran Takamoana Delamere.
Kylie Poihipi says, "He was affectionately known as Koro Billy Bags. He was also a member of the 28th Māori Battalion. He's one of our elders who was heavily involved in many issues our people faced."
Ōpōtiki Primary School put on a brave performance, addressing a sensitive issue troubling their town.
Te Rauhui Gawler says, "We had some passings in our kura the start of this year so we wanted to bring that message into our performance."
Byron Smith says, "Telling all the parents to listen to their children."
The two-day event will see schools from Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ōpōtiki, Torere and Waimana competing.