Topics: Kapa Haka, Te Matatini

Kataore heads to Matatini with a young campaign - Feature

By Te Kāea
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Kataore hails from the Te Arawa region and are ready for their second appearance at the national Te Matatini festival in Christchurch.  For most teams heading to the festival they'll have mostly adults performing, but for Kataore their team has their younger generations leading their campaign.

Te Kāea reporter Heeni Brown speaks with members of the group as they count the days down to the big day.

"They can see there's a better life than being on the streets, so go back to your marae, to your hapū and get involved in kapa haka and that's where you'll be exposed to the culture, which is a positive pathway for you to be on," says George Haimona.

"It's not based on a tuakana-teina system.  All members are treated the same regardless of age," says Te Tai o Rehua Cooper.

According to Riki Pihopa, "It's only right that we should expose our kids to this pathway so that they don't end up in gang life or crime."

Te Tai o Rehua says, "The veteran members are always here looking after the new members, so that they feel welcome in the group."

"Every year, there's always been 10 members who are still at secondary school and are selected to be in the group," explains George.  "There are some who are scared or afraid to trial for another group, but here with Kataore all youth are welcome."

Riki says, "Even though the name Kataore derives from a taniwha, a serpent-lizard, that doesn't depict the atmosphere of the group.  It enables the audience to hear, to feel, to be immersed in the messages not only about Te Arawa but throughout NZ.

Kataore's aim for this year is to perform something different, something that hasn't been seen in previous years so the audience can remember us, not for what they've seen on TV, but say wow Kataore, that's the group who rode a horse onto the stage.

So how is Kataore going to be different? You'll have to wait and see."

Te Tai o Rehua concludes, "I hope that we can stand with pride to represent (Ngāti) Pikiao and Kataore to the best of our abilities."

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