Topics: Kapa Haka, Youth, Te Reo Māori

Kapa haka preserving Whanganui and Taranaki dialects

By Leah Te Whata
  • North Island: West Coast

Whanganui and Taranaki's regional languages are being preserved through the art of kapa haka says expert Tamzyn Pue (Ngāti Maru).

Kapa haka in Aotea, a platform of expression, a means to address issues of importance.

Ngā Paerangi, Te Āti Haunui-ā-Pāpārangi descendent Ashley Patea says, "One of the great things about this competition is that, if your group performs, you can showcase your Whanganuitanga, your skills and the issues that pertain to you."

Tamzyn Pue says, "One of the big things for me about kapa haka for us here in Aotea is the preservation of our dialects of the Kāhui Maunga. The river has its own language, the mountain has its own language and that's the most important thing to me, the preservation of the language."

The pipi shuffle, the poipoi and the dialect. Ashley Patea says these are stylistic traits unique to the Aotea region.

"We're able to carry our tikanga from here, it's awesome for the youth and students from schools throughout Whanganui, Taranaki and the Aotea region to showcase this to everyone."

Te Ngākau o Te Awa and Te Kūreitanga will represent their rivers and mountains on the national stage in Manawatu next year.