This weekend, Te Rau Taiohi will take the stage at the Wellington Regional Kapa Haka competition for the first time. Their tutor, Rahera Davies of Tūhoe, spoke to Te Kāea.
Davies says, “Te Rau Taiohi was established in 2007 by myself and Te Teira Davis. The purpose of the group at that time was to foster young people here in the region, a place for them to reconnect."
"This is our first time in the regional competitions. We wanted to support other groups who are standing and also help in getting one extra group to Te Matatini."
"Some of the challenges we face include trying to find time to research and compose songs, finding people to help cook our kai, finding times and places to practise. There are many but this is part and parcel of being a teacher."
"I've thought about the inclusion of the karanga this year and what the judges will be looking for. I'm worried about whether or not the haukainga, Te Atiawa, will think about the karanga, and if they deem the different styles appropriate."
"I love teaching haka to those that love learning about it. It's inspiring to watch kaihaka express themselves on stage, and really enjoy themselves as well. It's uplifting."
"My main goal for Te Rau Taiohi is to eventually get a 40-strong group together for the next regional competition. Te Matatini will be hosted here in Wellington soon and we want to stand the strongest groups we can.”