Topic: Kapa Haka

Backstage with Te Wharekura o Mauao - Te Mana Kuratahi

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

What does it take to prepare for a competition like the primary school national kapa haka competition?

Te Kāea was invited backstage to learn more about Te Wharekura o Mauao ahead of their performance. 

Performer Aukaha Dickson says, “I’m settled now, a little excited, the butterflies are gone now, my knees were shaking but you have to do the job.”

It has also been a very emotional journey for haka teacher Stu McDonald after the passing of his son Kereopa Merritt-McDonald, a former student of the school.

“My son recently passed away from cancer about three months ago, so the school proposed to write a song for him,” said McDonald.

Their choral this year honours Kereopa Merritt-McDonald and their kuia, Te Iria Whiu. Their haka is a tribute to the Māori Land Wars.

After nine months of tireless training, Te Wharekura o Mauao finally had the chance to showcase all their hard efforts on stage.  Each group will have their last chance to show the judges what they can do before they make their final decision tomorrow.