For the first time Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia Te Mātangi has entered the Te Tau Ihu regional competitions and come out champs, also taking out the Te Waipounamu Open Kapa Haka Competition.
In a first, each group stood once and were judged for Te Tau Ihu regional and Te Waipounamu competitions held in Nelson in the weekend. Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia Te Mātangi placed first in all main disciplines.
Tutor, Ārana Tamepo says, “The families and also the community are really happy. They were surprised, they came to dress rehearsal and thought the kapa wouldn't place, but, come to the day they were shocked, surprised and amazed, so they're stoked.”
The school was established 4 years ago, and is Nelson's only kura kaupapa Māori. Honouring the eight tribes of the region was the main theme of their performance.
Tamepo says, “We reached out to each of the local people, to teach us their historical stories. So we can keep alive the history of this area.”
Teacher Sonaia Beard says, “The entire school visited the places they sang about. They saw, felt and heard the stories about each iwi. From that they gained understanding, to bring to life what they were singing about.”
The stories and songs are a hit with the performers.
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia te Mātangi will be one the new schools at next year’s Mana Kuratahi National Competition, in Gisborne.