Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi Marae have been crowned the Division One champions of the ASB Polyfest for this year.
Dreams have come true for Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi.
Kawariki Morgan – (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Hine, Tainui) says, “The school has been waiting a long time to get the trophies back in this house. How can one be not estatic with this?”
Ngā Tūmanako meeting house was humming with joy last night, at the return of the marae's champion secondary schools kapa haka, who had returned home as Division One champions at the ASB Polyfest this year.
Ana Berry-Tumoana, Kaiako says, “Every year we strive to win the Te Mita o Te Reo section. If that trophy can be won by Hoani Waititi, then we've won, the hard work has been justified.”
Taking out 6 of the 7 aggregate sections, Hoani Waititi was closely followed by hosts, Ngā Puna o Waiōrea who placed second overall
Kahurangi Ki Maungawhau from Auckland Girls Grammar School placed third.
“There's some that were saying that the flair has been lost, the strength of the school for kapa haka has diminished. But we've seen that has come back alive and well,” says Morgan.
Back again with family, knowing that school responsibilities will carry on for these students.
Ne'Kol Hura, Kaiako Reo Māori says, “We aim to plant the seed within the children to be warriors for the language, and that's a goal achieved.”
“And we're already thinking about the next thing on the list to do, the students have got waka ama tomorrow, some of the senior students are going to Ruatōrea for a mathematics symposium. That's how Hoani Waititi is,” says Berry-Tumoana.
With so much work ahead for the students, the National Secondary Kapa Haka Competitions in Hawkes Bay are sure to be at the forefront.
Morgan says, “Now they have to plan and prepare. They've achieved what they have, and now another challenge awaits.”
Ngā Puna o Waiōrea will once again host the Māori stage of the Polyfest in 2017.