Topic: Kapa Haka

Rangatahi showcase secondary schools haka nationals online

By Leah Te Whata
  • North Island: West Coast

Forty-three haka groups have made their way to the Manawat ū - Horowhenua region for the national secondary school kapa haka competition 'He Pouwhenua He Puapua'.

The slogan of this competition is many stars in the sky, thousands of performers below. The arena in Palmerston North was packed with haka groups, families and even the Mayor of Palmerston North at the pōwhiri for the National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Competition.

While everyone may not be able to be at the event physically, a group of youth is taking to social media so help everyone "get amongst it". 

Youth broadcaster Arapera Tapiata says, "I think that this is why young people love social media all over the world. You can connect everywhere but it could be the laziness of not wanting to leave their houses."

Youth broadcaster Wipere Takitimu says, "I quote Tā Apirana Ngata 'Utilise the tools of the Pākehā.' He was right, examples of this are Facebook and other media. It's convenient, everyone has phones and computers. We as youth think that it's an easy way to see what's happening for youth, for the future leaders."

Among this group are aspiring media specialists, the opportunity to broadcast at the National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Competition is giving them industry experience.

Tapiata says, "The main thing is that we enjoy ourselves and that everything runs smoothly this week. In the end, we are lucky and if our elders are happy, we're happy. It's a platform to embrace te reo and its customs from a youth perspective."

Takitimu says, "We can promote our language and our protocols widely, our language is of the utmost importance."

The competition starts tomorrow with the first group standing at 9am. The defending champions Raukura are performing tomorrow as well as Ōpōtiki and Ngā Mokopuna.

For more, click here to follow the national competition via Facebook, watch here for the livestream.