Topic: Kapa Haka

Kōanga Kapa Haka Festival celebrates cultural diversity

By Leah Te Whata
  • Auckland

Thirty-eight school kapa haka groups gathered to perform at the Kōanga Festival today, showcasing the diversity of Auckland's next generation.

Pakuranga Intermediate Kapa Haka leader Kayla Ngaropo says, "Our first performance wasn't that great but now I think we've improved and it's really fun to get to perform for the school."

Pakuranga Intermediate teacher Rona Eramiha says, "The essence of the festival really shows in their performance."

Around 700 students took the stage with performers from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Festival attendee Colenso Eramiha says, "It's not only up to Māori to preserve the language, I believe that task belongs to anybody who wishes to revitalise the language."

Eramiha says, "They (the children) are eager to learn Māori protocol. They are enthusiastic to learn the Māori language and protocols."

East Tāmaki kaumātua Taini Drummond says all children should be able to engage in the Māori language and culture.

If you look around today the two prominent languages in New Zealand are English and Māori, they should learn our language. We know their way of life and they should also know ours.

Kōanga Festival organisers believe that it is the largest non-competitive kapa haka festival in Auckland with more than 4000 attendees.