Topic: Polyfest

Westlake performance tasks mainstream to lift Māori achievement

By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland

Westlake Boys and Girls are challenging mainstream schools to lift Māori achievement. The group delivered their message at the ASB Polyfest in Auckland.

Westlake Girls & Boys High Schools Tutor Tureiti Waititi told Te Kāea, “The Ka Hikitia education strategy is in every school.  Its purpose challenges school leaders about how the Māori students in their schools are progressing, whether they're under par, or excelling, to lift the achievement for Māori in this world of mainstream schools.”

Both decile nine schools have low Māori student population.  10% of the students at Westlake Boys High are Māori.

“It's a start.  The haka group began last year in Division Three, this year we're in Division Two.  Hopefully, the customs of our ancestors will remain in our boys and girls.”

Female Leader Macy Foulagi-Koroi says, “We've got like a, kind of like a North Shore stereotype, where we're like, why? We don't have these kind of groups, we can't do this sort of stuff, but, we proved them wrong today.”

The two schools last performed together at Polyfest in 2011 since returning to the competition last year.  The team's exit is a favourite that paid tribute to festival stalwart Hori Pomana.

Waititi says, “He was a hard worker for the ASB Polyfest. As well as other Māori pursuits such as waka ama in the South Auckland Community in Manurewa.”

Foulagi-Koroi says, “Our exit with Paige doing her solo, she had a solo then we came in with the haka.  I found that really nice. Give yourself to an audience, and just be performing with your tūpuna behind your back.”

The kapa gave their all and hope it will result in a promotion to Division One next year.